EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Providence Police Department on Monday began issuing a $50 ticket to any driver who is caught speeding through five school zones that are operating an automated speed enforcement camera.

According to city officials, the cameras were installed to deter speeding and to help reduce the amount of car crashes.

“They are there to change patterns and habits — get people to slow down in these zones where children are,” said Police Chief Christopher Francesconi.

The start of ticket issuance follows a roughly seven-week period where the department issued a significant number of warning tickets for those who were caught speeding through those school zones.

“We sent thousands and thousands of warnings, with the hope that people understand where these cameras are and to give them a warning of what’s coming,” Francesconi explained.

He said the cameras were installed in the areas where the department received a high volume of speeding complaints from neighborhood residents.

“Pawtucket Ave. is a lengthy state road where speed historically has always been an issue, that goes the same with Forbes Street where Riverside Middle School is,” he said. “We routinely have speeding complaints in those areas.”

Providence was the first city to launch the controversial traffic cameras, which have brought millions of dollars to the city and the private vendor that operates them.

According to Francesconi, East Providence’s traffic cameras will only operate Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Speed cameras are located in the following locations:

  • Riverside Middle School (Forbes Street)
  • Kent Heights School (Pawtucket Avenue)
  • St. Margaret’s School (Pawtucket Avenue)
  • East Providence High School (Pawtucket Avenue)
  • St. Mary’s Bay View Academy (Pawtucket Avenue)

An earlier version of this story, citing information provided by the city, misstated the duration of the warning period.