By Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island officials say reflective sticks will be placed in the middle of the Pell Bridge as part of a series of new safety improvements, but they haven’t decided yet on whether a concrete barrier should be installed.

Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority Chairman David Darlington announced the safety improvements Thursday. He said police patrols will be increased, speed cameras will be put up and officials will step up a public awareness campaign about distracted driving.

Accident victims’ families and local officials are calling for a concrete median divider on the four-lane bridge over Narragansett Bay between Newport and Jamestown to prevent head-on collisions, including several that have killed people.

The authority’s board could vote in March on whether to install a barrier, after an engineering review is finished.

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