Providence Council President Salvatore Flip-Flops on Traffic Cameras

Saturday, March 10, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

Council President David Salvatore
Earlier this week, Providence City Council President David Salvatore said Providence residents supported the traffic camera initiative and that he was glad he backed the program.

However, on Friday, just hours after a series of GoLocal stories unveiled the former chief of staff to Jorge Elorza is now a $5,000 a month paid lobbyist for the traffic camera company and another story showing that sentiments are growing at the Rhode Island State House to drastically amend the enabling legislation or to repeal it, Salvatore announced that he was pushing for a full review of the program.

“We have heard from our constituents regarding their valid concerns related to aggressive driving throughout our city. The goal of the portable speed enforcement camera program is to make Providence safer, and I fully support its intended use as a traffic-calming measure and to deter speeding in school zones. However, this should not be construed as a money-making operation for the city,” said Salvatore. “We have a responsibility to our residents and visitors that public safety measures are implemented fairly, openly and without causing unreasonable hardship.” 

Salvatore and members of the City Council will review the portable speed enforcement camera program as well as its related components, including but not limited to the notification process and schedule of fines, fine amount, speed camera hours of operation, signage, and education rollout. 

His move comes a week after Councilwoman Sabina Matos had asked for a review of the program. "“I’ve heard from countless constituents that they had no warning that these speed cameras were being installed,” said Sabina Matos, Council President Pro Tempore. “After many conversations with concerned constituents, it was apparent that there was not enough education and outreach to alert the community about how these cameras work, their sensitivity, and the high cost of the tickets.  I’m hopeful that the City will take a step-back and institute better and more signage, and implement an outreach component that explains the cameras and how they work.”

On Friday, GoLocal reported that Elorza has close political ties to the State House lobbyist for Conduent, Inc., the company who owns and operates the traffic cameras that have issued more than 17,000 tickets and could potentially reap millions in revenue.

Tony Simon, who served as Elorza’s Chief of until July of 2016, now operates a political consulting firm and is a significant donor to top Democrats -- and is a $5,000 a month lobbyist for Conduent at the Rhode Island State House. 

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