Speed Cameras

Providence, RI, Sees Surge in Accidents With Red Light Cameras



After a decade of toying with the use of red light cameras, Providence, Rhode Island has seen a continued spike in the number of accidents at photo enforced intersections. Between 2006 and 2012, the program generated $6,160,975 in revenue, but accidents have skyrocketed over the last three years.

According to the city's annual reports to the state, obtained by GoLocalProv, there were 28 property damage collisions and 10 injury collisions at red light camera intersections in 2010. In 2011, collisions jumped 189 percent to 81, though injury collisions dipped to 7. Last year property damage accidents increased another 15 percent to 96 while injury accidents grew to 12. Over three years, the number of collisions had grown 242 percent.

The city now has fifteen intersections monitored by cameras that are owned and operated by Xerox. A 2006 press release explained the goal of hiring a private, for-profit company to issue tickets was, "deterring people from causing accidents by running red lights." The city first began experimenting with photo ticketing in 2003, but a district court judge scolded the city for doing so without the authorization of state law. Providence lobbyists were instrumental in convincing the legislature to enact a statewide photo ticketing law in 2005.