Big Brother may be watching

Enforcement of traffic rules downtown could one day be left to the unblinking and ever-present eye of the camera if City Councilor Richard Conti gets his way.

He proposed Tuesday that cameras be installed at the intersections of North and South Main streets with County and Park streets and at the intersection of Park with Bank Street and Railroad Avenue.

The crisscross of roads is heavily restricted with rules, which in turn are heavily abused by motorists, making an already hazardous area more so, he told fellow councilors.

Cameras are used in some parts of the state, including Cambridge and throughout the country for traffic enforcement, but it would be a first in Attleboro.

He said it was suggested by a constituent who uses a bicycle to ride through the center and has noticed numerous infractions.

While the state, rather than the city, has the authority to install the cameras, Conti said he wants to start a dialogue about the plan, even if it takes 15 years to come to fruition.

Meanwhile, Councilor Brian Kirby said he’s familiar with a camera system in Maryland that netted one city 250 violations at a single intersection in a single day. Kirby, who said he supports the idea of cameras, added that it can drastically increase the workload in traffic courts.

“What it led to in the courthouse was astounding,” he said.

He did not say where he got the information, but did say he did not violate traffic rules.

Conti said he has personal knowledge of how effective camera enforcement can be.

Sheila Oliver