Providence

What you need to know about the speed camera controversy

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A settlement in the speed camera lawsuit could put money back in the pocket of those who received a ticket, but how much is still a big question.

The city and attorneys for plaintiffs in the case have not released any details yet, but they have said drivers who received tickets on or before April 15 will receive partial refunds.

Those who received tickets and have not paid yet can still contest the ticket. If they're unsuccessful, they will pay a reduced fine.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are looking to make changes to how the program is run.

A bill in the House passed through Committee Tuesday night that would mandate first and second time offenders get $50 speeding tickets, and third or subsequent offenders would receive tickets that are $95 each.

The fines would then be expunged from the drivers' records after three years.

The bill also requires more signage and would limit when the speed cameras are in use to Monday through Friday during school hours for the 180 days of the school year only.

Providence has come under scrutiny from state lawmakers for issuing more than 12,000 $95 speeding tickets during the first 33 days of its speed camera program, which launched in January. A Municipal Court judge ended up dismissing dozens of violations because of errors on the printed tickets.

Rhode Island lawmakers first approved speed cameras in 2016 when they passed the Automated School-Zone-Speed-Enforcement System Act permitting municipalities to install them within a quarter-mile of any type of school. Providence is the only city has installed the cameras, although Mayor Jorge Elorza has predicted that they will eventually be used across the state.

Dan McGowan and Susan Campbell contributed to this report.


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