Council to those receiving tickets: Slow down!

Council to those receiving tickets: Slow down!

PAWTUCKET – Early hard data is confirming a truth that many in this city have known for a long time, said City Council members last week: That speeding is a serious and chronic problem here.

Councilor Mark Wildenhain thanked the Police Department for the information on the first month of a new traffic camera ticket program, saying that though it doesn’t address all of his questions, he “got enough” to see how many people are not heeding warnings about slowing down in the city of Pawtucket.

Wildenhain said he shares Councilor John Barry’s frustration about speeding, noting how these violations are happening on main roads, and it’s worse when it happens on side roads.

“It’s ridiculous how people travel in the city of Pawtucket and even in my own neighborhood,” he said.

He said a family member complained about getting a $50 ticket for going 34 miles per hour in a 20-mile-per-hour school zone. That $50 is going to become $110, Wildenhain told the family member. The message people should be getting is that they should be slowing down, particularly when traveling through school zones.

“Get the damn message, slow down,” Wildenhain said. “And if you don’t get the message, then pay the fine.”

He cited the example of 520 people being caught by cameras going over 40 miles per hour in the 20-mph Newport Avenue school zone as an indication that there’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

“If that’s (getting people to slow down) what this accomplishes, I hope it does,” said Wildenhain.

The councilman acknowledged a resident who came to address the council with concerns about the timeframe for tickets, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, saying the administration should consider potential modifications, but said the clear message remains that people need to slow down in school areas.

Resident James Marcil had implored the council to push for an earlier end time to the daily ticketing timeframe, sharing how he received a ticket at 5:42 p.m. on Oct. 31 for going 31 miles per hour past Slater Middle School on Mineral Spring Avenue. He said he wasn’t there to protest the ticket.

“My issue is the time of the ticket,” he said.

Even if taking into account after-school programs, it’s doubtful that any of those are still going at 5:42 p.m. Most youths are getting out of school at 2:35 p.m. and rushing to get home, he said.

Marcil said he’s not naïve enough to believe that this safety program isn’t a way to bring in revenue, but said council action to revise the timeframe for tickets would make it look like it’s all about the students while reducing stress on the driving public. He also urged the city to add clear signage in all directions for zones where the cameras are.

Comments

Get the “damn” message? Great conduct for a representative. Mark W adds insult to injury with this comment. I was hoping he would be asking what speeding incidents have lead to such an urgent safety need requiring speed cameras. This further alienated the cites from the government and feeds distrust. This is a blatant money grab. Why not cut government spending instead of making us pay more?