Let there be lights

City cur­rently re­view­ing where speed and red light cam­eras will be sit­u­ated around the city; in­stal­la­tion next step

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JONATHAN BISSONNETTE jbis­son­[email protected]­tuck­et­times.com

PAW­TUCKET — The ad­min­is­tra­tion is cur­rently re­view­ing where speed and red light cam­eras will be sit­u­ated around the city, as of­fi­cials have said that the in­stal­la­tion of the traf­fic cam­eras will be com­pleted by next month.

Direc­tor of Ad­min­is­tra­tion Dy­lan M. Ze­lazo said there is yet to be any pin­point lo­ca­tion of where the cam­eras will be in­stalled, as the ad­min­is­tra­tion is in the process of de­ter­min­ing where they’d make the most sense. Adding red light and speed cam­eras to the city is be­ing done in the name of en­hanc­ing school safety and mak­ing the Po­lice Depart­ment more ef­fi­cient, city of­fi­cials have said.

“We’re cur­rently go­ing through a re­view process that will ex­am­ine both school speed zone ar­eas as well as red lights,” Ze­lazo said on Fri­day. “We have 17 schools city-wide that are pub­lic, there are also a num­ber of char­ter and Catholic schools, so we need to look at all of those – po­lice, DPW, the ven­dor – to de­ter­mine which make sense.”

How­ever, Ze­lazo said that it’s more likely to see a cam­era along a main drag, where speed­ing has been an “ob­served con­di­tion,” rather than on back roads or side streets. He cited, as a com­par­i­son, Fal­lon Me­mo­rial El­e­men­tary School, which is tucked away on Lin­coln Av­enue, ver­sus Pot­ter Burns El­e­men­tary School and Ly­man B. Goff Mid­dle School, which are lo­cated on a multi-lane straight-away on New­port Av­enue where, Ze­lazo said, “speed­ing tends to be nat­u­ral.”

“Ul­ti­mately,” he added, “there’s a DOT ap­proval process. This takes time, it’s not go­ing to hap­pen overnight.” The in­stal­la­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion will be phased in, Ze­lazo said, so any is­sues that come up could be ad­dressed be­fore the full roll-out of the pro­gram.

Ze­lazo fur­ther said it’s too early in the process to make a rea­son­able es­ti­mate at the rev­enue the city will gen­er­ate from

the traf­fic cam­eras. With­out the knowl­edge of how many cam­eras there will be or where they’ll be lo­cated, he said, it’s dif­fi­cult to an­tic­i­pate a par­tic­u­lar num­ber of vi­o­la­tions.

That said, the city will gen­er­ate $50 per speed ticket from the cam­eras and $95 for red light vi­o­la­tions.

“Zero dol­lars are bud­geted,” he said. “When pur­sued, it was the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s stated po­si­tion that it needed to be ex­pen­di­ture-neu­tral, not cost the city any­thing. If it pro­duces more rev­enue than the fees, that would have a net pos­i­tive im­pact on the bud­get.”

Gatso-USA will re­ceive a fixed fee of $1,800 per cam­era per month for the red-light cam­eras,

plus

$15.40 for each no­tice of vi­o­la­tion is­sued; and a fixed fee of $2,500 per cam­era per month plus $7.30 for each no­tice of vi­o­la­tion is­sued for speed­ing in school zones. The city will not be re­quired to pay the fixed fee of $2,500 per cam­era dur­ing the months that school is not in ses­sion.

The cam­eras will be pole mounted. Once the cam­eras and sig­nage are in­stalled, there will be a 30-day warn­ing pe­riod where mo­torists will re­ceive a no­tice in the mail in­stead of a vi­o­la­tion with the goal of chang­ing driver be­hav­ior be­fore a vi­o­la­tion oc­curs, of­fi­cials said. It is an­tic­i­pated that cam­era and sig­nage in­stal­la­tion will be com­pleted by Fe­bru­ary, weather per­mit­ting.

Fol­low Jonathan Bissonnette on Twit­ter @J_Bis­son­nette

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