Peter Gay: Bring the speed cameras | Columns
They say walking is one of the best ways to be healthy and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t do it enough.
That doesn’t mean I don’t try, especially at work.
I now take the short walk from North TV to the North Attleboro Post Office whenever something needs to be posted. One of those trips was on Tuesday when I posted a DVD of the recent Century Game.
The three-minute walk requires two crossings of busy South Washington Street, which isn’t always easy.
Last week was a perfect example. I was on my way back to the office when I entered the crosswalk in front of the community school. There were no cars coming from the city center and only a few vehicles were approaching from the south.
I always make sure to step off the sidewalk when ready to cross, as I have heard that motorists are not required to stop for pedestrians unless they are standing in the crosswalk.
A small school bus approached from the left. I can’t say I was surprised the driver went over the 20mph limit in front of the school, not many people do. I was stunned, however, when she sailed alongside me without slowing down.
The car behind the bus was also buzzing as I tried to cross. They were driving a car with Rhode Island license plates so I wasn’t shocked.
Family and friends know that I am far from a perfect driver. In fact, the city of Providence has bagged me twice since I moved my game to the Triggs Memorial Golf Course a few years ago.
The first was in 2019.
Pattie called me one afternoon to tell me that we had received a citation in the mail for not stopping at a red light. “It can’t be,” I replied.
That was, a traffic camera mounted on a telephone poll on Smith Street took several pictures of my silver SVU. The first one showed the traffic light in red with my car just before I reached the stop line. Another photo showed me advancing through the intersection and a third was a tight photo of my license plate.
I mailed the check for $ 75.
A second notice arrived in the mail last month. This time the offense was for exceeding the speed limit in a school zone on Chalkstone Avenue. I was cited for driving 31 mph when the limit was 20.
The fact that I was going 31 was because I thought the speed limit was 30, as is the case on most busy streets.
Again, it was undeniable that it was my car, but I couldn’t remember having passed a school.
A Google Earth search quickly revealed that Nathanael Greene Middle School is on the left, not far from Roger Williams Medical Center.
I even clicked on Street View to see if the area is marked as a school zone. I quickly found a 20mph sign after the bends in the road just before going down a hill.
A photo of the location could be listed in the dictionary next to the words “speed trap”.
Ignorance is not a self-defense, so I paid the fine of $ 50.
The good news is that infractions did not result in assessed points and higher insurance costs for years to come.
I researched a bit more and found that the whole area is filled with traffic cameras due to its proximity to a number of schools (Mt. Pleasant High School, LaSalle Academy, and Rhode Island College are also within walking distance. proximity) and a state law allowing cameras within a quarter mile of any type of school.
Providence pronounced 63,000 such violations two years ago.
Despite the $ 125 I had to pay, I’m a huge fan of traffic cameras and believe they made me a better driver, not only on my way to and from Triggs, but everywhere.
It is time for Massachusetts to do the same.
Think how much money local communities would raise because of our proximity to Rhode Island and their drivers, especially for not reporting the turns.
Peter Gay is the Managing Director of North Attleborough Community Television Inc. – North TV. The opinions expressed in his column are not necessarily those of North TV. Contact him at [email protected]