Traffic camera violations rise to end 2019

Traffic camera violations rise to end 2019

PAWTUCKET – Camera tickets through the city’s new monitoring program were up for the final week they were tallied in 2019, Dec. 15-21, showing a significant increase over the first two weeks of December.

According to Wilder Arboleda, spokesman for Mayor Donald Grebien, the total number of apparent violations captured that week was 9,114, with 7,029 of those for violations in 20 mph school speed zones and another 2,085 violations captured by cameras at red lights.

Those increased numbers, provided in a response to a request from The Breeze, were similar to the weekly figures seen during the month of November.

While violations in school 20 mph school zones are down, violations at red lights continue to climb “incrementally,” as Arboleda put it, as all of those cameras are now operational.

The Breeze previously reported that there were 6,985 total combined violations for the two kinds of cameras for the week ending Dec. 15, and 5,718 violations for the week ending Dec. 8, but the speed cameras were only on for four of five days during the first week of December.

Officials have not ruled out changes to the camera program as higher-than-expected ticket numbers persist, including potentially adding, moving or eliminating cameras. They are also analyzing the program to see if more signage and other changes could be made.

Resident complaints about the program have mainly revolved around the timeframe for the school zone cameras to be on, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the lack of great visibility for the signs warning drivers that the cameras are in use.

“As we go through the next few months, signage and other improvements will be considered where appropriate,” Arboleda said for a story last month. “Our community’s continuing priority is safety around our schools for students, teachers, and parents alike.”

The cameras, run by private contractor Sensys Gatso, capture violations that are then reviewed by the Pawtucket Police Department, and tickets are issued at $50 for speed zone violations and $95 for violations at red lights if no extenuating circumstances are found.

There were no speed zone violations tallied between Dec. 22 and Dec. 31 because school was no longer in session.

The vast majority of tickets are going to drivers who live outside of Pawtucket, as previously reported by The Breeze. A violation is triggered when a driver hits 31 mph in a 20 mph school zone.