EAST PROVIDENCE — The controversial program of installing “red light” cameras at 10 busy intersections around East Providence received some “accidental” publicity …
EAST PROVIDENCE — The controversial program of installing “red light” cameras at 10 busy intersections around East Providence received some “accidental” publicity earlier this month, though it has yet still to have been formally implemented.
A report by WPRI TV highlighted the plan, noting correctly a handful of cameras had been turned on in recent days.
However, according to local officials, the cameras were not supposed to be operational and they have been turned off for the moment until proper signage is put into place. The signage is a requirement by law for cameras to be installed.
The announcement of the program and the installation of the equipment actually began last year, though the formal rollout remains at least a few weeks away, according to East Providence Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. Michael Rapoza.
Reached for comment following the WPRI report, Rapoza, in consultation with EPPD Chief Chris Francesconi, said of the eight additional cameras three of them went “live” on January 1.
“They were accidentally turned on and started issuing warnings, but were turned off,” Rapoza explained of the red light cameras. “The roadway signage warning passengers about the cameras were not in place as required by Rhode Island statute.”
The program was recommended by the office of Mayor Bob DaSilva and approved in late 2021 by the Council that just concluded its session upon a mid-December 2022 meeting.
Not to be confused with the speed cameras placed in front of several schools around the city, the red light cameras are supposed to catch motorists running through the stop signals at among the busiest places in East Providence.
The speed cameras were installed by December 2021. The EPPD began issuing tickets when classes resumed following the holiday break and after a 30-day warning period in January of last year.
Rapoza said the red light cameras will eventually follow a similar schedule of implementation as was done with the school zone speed cameras. Warnings will be issued to violators for the first 30 days before tickets are sent out.
To date, the city has received fines approaching $3 million from citations issued at the seven speed cameras placed in school zones. The program, which was a campaign issue last fall, continues to be a talking point among residents and motorists a year into existence.
Coinciding with the WPRI report, Rapoza said one of the cameras inadvertently turned on was at the entrance of the complex where the station’s studio is located at Highland Avenue and Catamore Boulevard.
Two of the 10 cameras have long been in service, those being at the intersections of Broadway at Grovesnor Avenue and North Broadway at Roger Williams Avenue. They were installed with the correct signage and citations began to be issued in the spring of 2022.
Said Rapoza, “The only red light cameras that are operational are the two on Broadway and North Broadway. The chief is reporting that the remainder of the red light cameras will be operational as soon as the signs are up.”
The Highway Division of the East Providence Public Works Department in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation continue the process of installing the neon green/yellow notification signs.
The seven other locations not mentioned where red light cameras are also being installed are: Pawtucket Avenue and Warren Avenue; Pawtucket Avenue and Taunton Avenue; Broadway and Warren Avenue; Pawtucket Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway; Newport Avenue and Ferris Avenue; Wampanoag Trail and Mink Street; and Taunton Avenue and Purchase Street.
Rapoza added, “The hope is that the signage will be up in the next week or so. Once that happens, the cameras will go into the warning stage for 30 days.”