There has been a well publicized backlash against Providence speed cameras placed in school zones ticketing those going at least 11 mph over the speed limit. But the anger is not because there is so much speeding in school zones, it is because their were so many tickets!
The apparent sense of entitlement that some motorists feel to speed in school zones is disturbing. It is hard to feel sorry for the plaintiffs in a anti-enforcement lawsuit, as reported in the 3/24/18 Providence Journal, several were caught speeding more than 20 mph over the speed limit and there was at least one repeat offender. They apparently care little about the safety of the kids and school employees. Pandering to them, there is a bill in the legislature, H7760 by East Greenwich Rep. Anthony Giarrusso that repeals authorization for the speed zone cameras – in effect allowing widespread speeding near schools.
Note also that the US has a relatively high fatality rate per mile driven, about twice that of northern and western Europe. It is also a guideline that about 1/3 of the deaths are due to speed, especially dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists not protected by tons of metal and airbags who, as just reported at a RIDOT hosted conference, have a 90% chance of surviving a 20 mph collision, a 50% chance of surviving one at 30 mph and only a 10% chance to survive at 40 mph. Speeding kills!
But it is still only two cheers for the speed cameras as the fines seem too high for a first offense, and there are legitimate concerns about the roll out including due process, the placement warning signs and cameras as well as hours of operation. There are bills pending in the legislature to make reasonable adjustments.
For reasons of economy, environment, and health, we have a societal interest in promoting more walking and bicycling. This requires controlling speeding on urban streets to make them safer for all. So cheers for the cameras!