East Providence, R.I. (WPRI) — East Providence is adding 10 new red light cameras and one additional school zone camera in the new year, after collecting nearly $3 million in fines so far in 2022.
Some critics say the technology infringes on civil liberties.
East Providence launched its original camera program in nine school zones in early January, fining violators $50 per ticket. The program has taken in $2,839,893 through Dec. 11, and the city plans to add one additional school zone camera in early 2023.
Beginning Jan. 2, when drivers run a red light at 10 different intersections in the city, the cameras will snap a photo, and drivers will receive a warning in the mail. East Providence will switch from warnings to $85 tickets starting Feb. 1.
Mayor Bob DaSilva and police chief Christopher Francesconi declined interview requests, and city spokesperson Patricia Resende answered written questions and referred Target 12 to a page on the city website.
The page explained why city officials were creating these two camera programs, saying in part that they are effective in “deterring speeding, reducing crashes, and ultimately saving lives.”
“If you run a red light and get a ticket months later, that’s not correcting those issues in the moment,” said Hannah Stern, policy associate at the ACLU of Rhode Island. “You don’t get public safety by putting up cameras that are tracking the movements of people, you don’t get public safety by tracking the whereabouts of drivers.”
Stern said the ACLU opposes both red light and school zone cameras because of civil liberty concerns.
“You’re basically creating a database of where drivers are, at what time of day, all days of the week,” she said.
Here are the initial East Providence red light camera locations:
Pawtucket Avenue & Warren Avenue
Pawtucket Avenue & Taunton Avenue
Broadway & Warren Avenue
Pawtucket Avenue & Veterans Memorial Parkway
Newport Avenue & Ferris Avenue
Wampanoag Trail & Mink Street
N Broadway & Roger Williams Avenue
Highland Avenue & Catamore Blvd.
Taunton Avenue & Purchase Street
Broadway & Grosvenor Avenue
Additional East Providence school zone camera location: St. Mary’s Academy Bay View School (Heading southbound at 3070 Pawtucket Ave.)
Current East Providence school zone camera locations:
St. Mary’s Academy Bay View School (3070 Pawtucket Ave.) (one camera)
Kent Heights School (2680 Pawtucket Ave.) (two cameras)
Riverside Middle School (179 Forbes St.) (two cameras)
St. Margaret School (42 Bishop Ave.) (two cameras)
East Providence High School (2000 Pawtucket Ave.) (two cameras)