PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – Pawtucket will be the next Rhode Island city to implement a traffic camera program to monitor drivers at red lights and near schools, the city announced Friday.
The city has hired Gatso-USA to add cameras at certain intersections and near several schools. Mayor Donald Grebien said the cameras will “enhance school safety and make our police department more efficient.”
“We are well aware that speeding in school zones is a problem in the city while our police department resources are limited. We simply can’t put a police officer in front of every school every day,” Grebien said. “This is not a new law, it is simply embracing new technology that stretches city resources and brings us in line with cities and towns throughout the country. The message is simple, don’t speed near schools.”
Providence implemented a red light camera system more than 10 years ago, but the city came under fire last year when it added speed cameras near schools. The city issued 12,000 speeding tickets in the first month, prompting the General Assembly to amend state law by setting the maximum fine a city can issue at $50.
In a press release announcing the new camera system, Grebien’s office claimed the program will be revenue-neutral. Providence generates millions of dollars in revenue each year from its camera program.
Pawtucket has not announced the locations of its cameras yet. Gatso-USA has committed to advertising in the local newspapers in order to inform drivers that the cameras will be in place.