Aug 17, 2022 - News

Local officials push to renew speed camera program

Illustration of a security camera topped with police car lights
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Local officials are pressing state leaders to renew the use of speed cameras to ticket scofflaw drivers on one of Philly's most dangerous roads before the program sunsets next year.

Why it matters: The use of speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard has led to a significant drop in speeding violations and fatalities on the 12-lane roadway in recent years — even as crashes rose throughout the city.

The latest: Mayor Jim Kenney and other elected state officials on Tuesday called on state legislators, who must approve the use of speed cameras, to continue and expand the program throughout the city as well as in active work zones.

  • "The success of Automated Speed Enforcement here on Roosevelt Boulevard cannot be overstated," the mayor said in a released statement.
  • The program will expire in October 2023.

The other side: A spokesperson for the Republican leadership in the state House of Representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.

Context: In 2018, state legislators approved a five-year pilot program to operate speed cameras in Philly.

  • Yes, but: They limited them to Roosevelt Boulevard, which runs from the Schuylkill river to Bucks County.
  • The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) oversees the program.

Zoom in: Speed cameras are placed along at least eight locations on Roosevelt Boulevard.

  • Fines range from $100-150.

By the numbers: As of November 2021, speeding violations had plummeted more than 90% since the automated speed cameras were installed in June 2020, according to a recent report from the PPA.

  • Plus: Traffic fatalities dropped by half in the first seven months of the program, according to the city.
  • Violation revenue from the cameras brought in more than $22 million through most of fiscal year 2022, according to the PPA report.

Zoom out: The city has logged at least 76 fatal crashes so far this year, of which 30 involved pedestrians, a police spokesperson told Axios.

  • Three of those fatalities were on Roosevelt Boulevard.

What they're saying: "We believe that by dramatically reducing speeding by over 90% on Roosevelt Boulevard, countless lives have already been saved," PPA chairperson Beth Grossman told Axios.

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