Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 07-11-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | JULY 11-17, 2019 SMITHFIELD 15 someone, 14. More than $179,682 in fines have been collected and 265 warnings issued in an effort by the depart- ment to prevent traffic violations and keep the roads safe, said Police Chief Richard St. Sauveur. The chief said the most frequent complaint he receives from the community is regarding traffic and congestion, and he has a high expec- tation of his officers to conduct traffic enforcement. "Generally speaking, the officers have taken an oath to enforce the laws of Rhode Island, including traf- fic laws," St. Sauveur said. "I have very high expectations that my officers are enforcing traffic laws," he added. St. Sauveur said laws are created to protect the safety of motorists, and enforcement is one of the best tools for preventing violations. As reported in the annual report for the year running from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, the SPD issued 3,803 violations total. According to a citation status report provided to The Breeze, from Jan. 1 to June 13, the SPD is on target for another year with similar numbers. St. Sauveur said there's often a deeper story behind the data. He said of the 14 citations for following another car too closely, some were most likely given after a collision with another car. "There's a life behind every story," he said. Most frequently, officers stopped drivers for issues with registrations, varying from expired registration to driving with a revoked registration. The 560 registration citations for six months represented a dramatic jump on the 445 citations issued in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Some stops had multiple registration violations, including improperly displaying plates or not providing registration information. "As far as I'm concerned, there are far too many unregistered vehicles on the road," St. Sauveur said. He said officers with the SPD are frequently looking for registration violations. He said an unregistered vehicle is often an uninsured vehicle as well. In 2017-2018, the most frequent citation issued was for speeding, with 816 violations. So far this year, the SPD has issued 375 citations for speeding, with 51 citations for travel- ing 11 miles per hour faster than the speed limit and the remaining 324 for traveling 10 miles per hour or less over the speed limit. St. Sauveur said his officers are able to use their discretion when issuing tickets, and said he requests that a ticket is writ- ten for the reason a vehicle was pulled over. He said that is why there are more speeding tickets written and fewer inspection sticker tickets. Citations for inspection stickers are down to 46 citations, much less than the year total of 305 in 2017-2018. At nearly the half-year mark, the number of citations for mobile phone usage is 147, and texting while driv- ing 30, for a total of 177 violations. Last year, SPD issued 212 citations for similar violations. St. Sauveur said as chief, he rou- tinely emphasizes to his officers the need to be more vigilant and obser- vant of mobile phone usage viola- tions. He said the motoring public is not adhering to cell phone laws. "It's disappointing the frequency with which drivers are still talking on the phone, texting and looking at their phones," he said. He said people are too attached to their phones, and drivers often take the 11 seconds while sitting at a red light to catch up on social media or texting. "That is still a violation," St. Sauveur said. "Pull over." Another frequently ticketed viola- tion in 2019 related to disobeying traffic signal devices or stop signs, with 162 violations. For all of the 2017-2018 year, the department gave out 333 stop sign and red light viola- tions, similar monthly numbers to this year's totals. Violations for not wearing a seat belt continue to be an issue for driv- ers in Smithfield, with 117 violations issued this year. In all of 2017-2018, the department issued 176 citations for not wearing a seat belt. Other road violations for 2019 include 20 violations for possession of marijuana, 13 violations for failing to drive slowly in conditions requiring reduced speeds, seven violations for not showing care when starting from a stop, and 21 illegal U-turns. Lesser-charged citations show two violations for littering and two for muffler violations. Driving under the influence of alco- hol is not on the civil citation report as it is a criminal offense, but the report showed 17 citations for refus- ing to submit to a chemical test. TICKETS From Page One ST. SAUVEUR Library offers Free Summer Meal Program SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., will offer a Free Summer Meal Program through Thursday, Aug. 15. Lunches are available to all under the age of 18. Meals must be con- sumed on site. Lunches will be served daily Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. For more information, call the library at 401-231-5150. Over the Moon at East Smithfield Library SMITHFIELD – East Smithfield Public Library, 50 Esmond St., will host Over the Moon (About the Moon) on Tuesday, July 16, at 6 p.m. Participants will model how the moon's volcanic period reshaped its earlier features using Rice Krispies treats and chocolate syrup. Registration is required. Call 401-231-5150. Cursive classes offered at East Smithfield Library SMITHFIELD – The Friends of the East Smithfield Library will spon- sor a cursive writing series this sum- mer for children. The class is held on Wednesdays at 10 a.m., at the library, located at 50 Esmond St., and is being taught by retired teacher Elaine Pavao. It is designed for children in the 3rd grade or older. For more information, call the library at 401-231-5150. IN BRIEF Witness again the last time we were one Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins embark on a historic trip to the moon. The 50th Anniversary Join Us For The Valley Breeze FREE Movie Night Friday, July 19, 7:30 p.m. • FREE Admission at The Stadium Theatre, Woonsocket, RI To see the trailer, search "Stadium Theatre Apollo 11" NEXT FRIDAY! JULY 19!

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