EP man hit with nearly $700 in red light camera tickets – but plate isn’t his

Call 12 For Action

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Over the past several months, Anthony Sionni has received a stack of red light camera tickets in the mail.

“They total almost $700 now,” Sionni told Call 12 for Action.

According to the violation notices from Providence, Sionni has blown through multiple red lights in the city. Each notice includes photos of the alleged infraction.

Here’s the catch: The vehicles captured by the red light cameras don’t belong to Sionni.

The license plate used to be his, but it hasn’t been registered to him in two years, according to a certified registration inquiry from the R.I. Division of Motor Vehicles.

“I’m just so frustrated,” Sionni said. “I don’t own the vehicle. I don’t own the plate.”

“What am I supposed to do? Go to court eight, nine, 10 times?” he added. “Even if I get these tickets dismissed, it’s not going to prevent it from continuing.”

Call 12 for Action took Sionni’s concerns to the city.

Lindsay Lague, a spokesperson for the public safety commissioner’s office, said in an email Conduent, the company that operates the red light cameras, is supposed to vet the vehicle registration information. Police officers then verify violations before they’re issued.

In Sionni’s case, the city says one of his old plates was reported stolen. Another was left on the vehicle when Sionni junked it.

It’s unclear who has those plates now, but following Call 12 for Action’s inquiry, Sionni is no longer on the hook for the mystery driver’s red-light violations.

“The tickets have been waived and Conduent has been advised not to issue tickets to canceled plates,” Lague said.

The number of red light camera violations has been rising steadily in Providence:

  • 2017 – 38,648
  • 2018 – 53,661
  • 2019 – 60,112 (year to date)

It is unclear how many tickets have been issued to canceled plates.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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