More speed cameras activated in Providence amid controversy

More speed cameras were activated in Providence Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (WJAR)

More speed cameras were activated in Providence Tuesday.

Hundreds of drivers packed Providence Municipal Court a day prior in protest of the $95 tickets that the cameras produce, with city councilors asking for a delay in turning on new ones.

Since the cameras were installed about a month ago, 12,000 speeding tickets have been distributed.

"It's spreading and it's only going to get worse if we don't nip it in the bud," Rep. Anthony Giarusso, a Republican who represents East Greenwich, told NBC 10 News.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island said they don’t like the mechanism that sends tickets to people who might not even know they were speeding.

“There are due process concerns,” Steven Brown of the ALCU said. “A person finds out about they allegedly violated the law weeks after it took place.”

Right now, however, it's perfectly legal.

But Giarusso would like to change that.

“It's just a money grab,” he said. “I mean, if you think about it, these things operate in hours, and even on Saturday and there's no school session in there.”

The cameras are the offshoot of the red-light cameras that the city installed years ago. The violations are not reported to insurance companies or the division of motor vehicles.

But they make money, as the red-light tickets brought $1.8 million to the city in 2017.

“Some of these people live paycheck to paycheck and some of them are paying a $95 fee whether they did it or not because it's so hard to contest it,” Giarusso said.

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