WATERBURY, Conn. — As the Vision Zero bill passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support, several towns and cities have had conversations on whether they should implement red light cameras or not.
One city that is ready to try them out is Waterbury.
With 169 municipalities in Connecticut, the Brass City is ready to make changes that will hopefully lower the number of fatalities.
Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo believed reckless driving is a factor.
"I think there’s a lot of distracted driving that’s going on. I find myself even with these newer vehicles with the infotainment center, even using a hands-free cellular phone. There’s just a lot going on," said Chief Spagnolo of the Waterbury Police Department.
It is not certain where the red light cameras would specifically be placed, but the East Main Street corridor is an option in addition to state roads and state routes.
"I think that you’re going to see these cameras placed on heavy arteries of traffic – areas that may very well be commercialized or industrial. They may be close to highway entrances or exit ramps," added Chief Spagnolo.
To ensure the accuracy of these cameras, it will take pictures of the car before and after the violation.
The information will then get sent to the third party company who would vet the information and lastly, it would be sent over to the city who would finalize the information and ultimately decide if a ticket should be issued.
Despite the bill being passed, it is still being met with concerns by the ACLU who provided this statement:
“Pedestrian safety is a serious issue, and we all want safe streets. Connecticut needs to invest in real solutions, like traffic calming and pedestrian-supportive infrastructure. The amended version of the Vision Zero bill contains some good proposals and is a significant improvement on the original in terms of its approach to red light cameras, and we remain skeptical of red light cameras because of their potential to increase policing, including racist targeting of Black and Brown communities. We will be monitoring the bill's implementation if it becomes law."
Chief Spagnolo added he hopes the cameras would be installed as soon as possible and hopefully by the end of the year.
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