East Providence studying school zones as it considers adding speed cameras


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Speed cameras could soon pop up in yet another Rhode Island community.

In a unanimous vote last week, the East Providence City Council decided to begin looking into the possibility of installing the cameras in school zones.

Mayor Bob DaSilva said speeding is a “constant source of complaint from the community.”

“On Pawtucket Avenue, for instance, it’s a four-lane road and people get the speed up,” DaSilva said Tuesday. “A school zone is 20 miles per hour. If a person is doing 33 or 34 — it’s 14 miles per hour over the speed limit and that’s dangerous.”

According to DaSilva, the city is considering using all of the money generated by the program to enhance public safety, asserting that the idea is not a ploy to generate additional revenue.

“Kids being kids, you’re always afraid they are going to dart into traffic, or you don’t want to see somebody driving at excessive speed and lose control and go up on a sidewalk,” he explained.

DaSilva said the city installed speed signs to collect data in school zones. He said officials’ ultimate decision on whether to install speed cameras will be heavily based on those results.

Providence was the first in Rhode Island to install speed cameras in school zones, with Pawtucket following soon after. DaSilva said he hopes East Providence can learn from their experiences.

“We can absolutely learn from whatever mistakes they made,” DaSilva said. “But what I have seen, when I drive in those communities now, is people drive at the speed limit.”

DaSilva expects city officials will receive the school-zone data in the next couple of months. He said they will then analyze the information and decide whether to start reaching out to speed camera vendors.

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