Traffic cameras going live in Pawtucket Aug. 28

Traffic cameras going live in Pawtucket Aug. 28

PAWTUCKET – The city’s new speed zone and red light camera system, operated by private contractor Sensys Gatso, is set to go live by the end of the month.

“The cameras will be fully operational for the beginning of the school year on Aug. 28,” said Public Works Director Eric Earls.

The contractor continues to work alongside the city on the installation of speed cameras around city schools.

“The traffic camera safety program will be beneficial to the city, enhance school safety, and make our operations citywide more efficient,” said Earls.

Asked which cameras will go on Aug. 28, officials said all school zone cameras and some red-light cameras will be operational on that date, and the rest will be incrementally added in the weeks following. A list of locations will be regularly distributed to the public through a robust advertising and awareness program, in coordination with the city, “to ensure that our residents are informed of the incoming traffic camera safety program,” said Earls.

A 30-day warning period will commence Aug. 28. Motorists will receive a notice in the mail instead of a violation with the goal of changing driver behavior before a violation.

The contractor is also meeting on site with members of the Pawtucket Police Department to conduct initial training on the software camera platform to access and use the cameras.

Though city officials and company representatives have promoted the program as a safety initiative in response to repeated concerns from various district councilors, others, including former Council President and mayoral candidate Henry Kinch Jr., have referred to it as little more than a “money grab.”

According to the contract signed last December, Sensys Gatso will receive a fixed fee of $1,800 per red light camera per month, plus $15.40 for each $95 notice of violation issued. On speed cameras in school zones, the fixed fee will be $2,500 monthly, plus $7.30 for each $50 notice of violation. That monthly fee will only be paid when school is in session.

Red light cameras are being installed at the intersections of Armistice Boulevard and Newport Avenue, School Street and Division Street, Cottage Street and Newport Avenue, Thurston Street, Lonsdale Avenue and Main Street, and Smithfield Avenue and Mineral Spring Avenue.

School speed zone cameras are going in on the 900 block of Newport Avenue, near Potter-Burns Elementary and Goff Middle School, near Varieur Elementary in the 400 block of Pleasant Street, at Curtis Elementary in the 500 block of Benefit Street, and near Nathanael Greene Elementary School in the 300 block of Smithfield Avenue.