Providence, plaintiffs reach settlement in speed camera suit
By John Krinjak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) -- The City of Providence has made a deal with the people involved in a class-action lawsuit over those school zone speed cameras.
Even though a settlement has been reached, that doesn't mean the cameras are going away.
At a meeting Thursday night, the City Council's Committee on claims and pending suits approved a settlement between the city and the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit over those new speed cameras in school zones.
"And after hearing what we heard tonight I felt very comfortable with just going with the settlement," said committee chair Nicholas Narducci.
Under the deal, those who got a speeding camera citation on or before April 15th have two options--they can request a hearing to challenge it, or get a $20 discount on their ticket, effectively reducing the fine to $75.
"I think this is a great settlement for the taxpayers and the people of Rhode Island with respect to the speed cameras," said Peter Petrarca, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
Petrarca says he's pleased the suit got the city to make changes--including moving signs to warn people of the cameras sooner, and clarifying language on the ticket. He feels the settlement proves the original summons and signs were in violation of general law.
"It means that the rule of law is alive and well. And you have to follow the law, and if you don't follow the law somebody such as ourselves may call you on it," said Petrarca.
Although the city is making some changes, that doesn't mean the cameras are going away.
"These speed cameras are still going to be out there and still going to be functional," said Narducci. "As far as I'm concerned-you hear about everybody complaining about their tickets, but the only reason they ever received a ticket is because they were speeding in a school zone."
Even though both parties have agreed to this settlement, a district court judge still has to sign off on it.