Middletown Moves Forward with Speed Cameras in School Zones

In an effort to reduce speeding during school hours, Middletown Town Council has approved a contract with Blue Line Solutions to install and maintain speed cameras in school zones. The cameras will be operational on school days and during school hours, specifically targeting speeders on Aquidneck Avenue, Forest Avenue, and Purgatory, Turner, and Valley roads.

The speed cameras will issue civil violations to motorists traveling 10 mph or more over the speed limit, ensuring that these violations do not go on a driver’s record. Before the cameras become operational, Blue Line Solutions is required to widely advertise their presence to the public. Additionally, the agreement awaits final approval from Town Solicitor Peter Regan.

“Middletown Police Lt. David Bissonnette has done a great job pulling this all together and working with the state here,” Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown said. “A lot more work goes into something like this than most people realize. It’s not just putting up the camera.”

The initiative to install speed cameras was brought to the council earlier this year as a measure to reduce speeds and mitigate potential tragedies involving the community’s most vulnerable populations. Statistics from Blue Line Solutions, a Chattanooga-based firm, highlighted the persistent speeding problem in Middletown despite the efforts of the Middletown Police Department.

A five-day review conducted in November 2023 revealed alarming numbers: 29,134 vehicles were recorded passing by Middletown High, Gaudet Middle, Forest Avenue, Aquidneck, and St. George’s schools in the morning hours, with 47 percent of them speeding. Midday hours saw a reduction in speeders to 7 percent, but afternoon hours experienced a spike, with 56 percent of vehicles speeding. Valley Road in front of Middletown High was identified as the worst offender, with at least four out of every five cars exceeding the 35 mph speed limit by at least 10 mph.

Resident Antone Viveiros suggested adding cameras to catch red light runners as well. Local officials responded that this was being considered, but it would take more time to secure the necessary approvals from the state Department of Transportation (RIDOT). Each red light camera requires a separate permit and approval from RIDOT, which can be a lengthy process.

“We can’t just go ahead,” Brown said. “We have to work with RIDOT. We would be putting (those cameras) on state roads.”

The speed cameras will be placed near Aquidneck, Forest Avenue, Gaudet, and Middletown High schools, as well as St. George’s School on Purgatory Road. Jason Friedberg, vice president of sales & marketing for Blue Line Solutions, noted that the speeding totals in Middletown were not unusual compared to national trends. The goal is to create lasting changes in driving habits to enhance safety for everyone.

Given the high number of speeders, local officials have acknowledged that it would be impossible for the Middletown Police to keep up with enforcement alone. The agreement with Blue Line Solutions ensures no upfront costs for the Police Department, covering maintenance, back office expenses, and other payments. Under the agreement, Blue Line Solutions will receive $16 of every $50 ticket issued.

As a civil violation, these tickets will not affect a driver’s record, and motorists cannot use the “good driver” exemption to avoid fines.




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