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October 04, 2018

Speed safety cameras one step closer to implementation on Roosevelt Boulevard

Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill that would create a pilot program to record how fast motorists drive on Route 1

Public Safety Roosevelt Boulevard
Carroll - Roosevelt Boulevard Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Roosevelt Boulevard at Banks Way.

Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard, known as one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the country, might get a little safer a little sooner. 

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Bill 172, which would implement speed safety cameras in construction zones and legalize cameras on the boulevard as part of a five-year pilot program. The bill just needs the signature of Gov. Tom Wolf.

The idea is a long-time coming. Speed camera legislation was first introduced in 2014 following a crash on Roosevelt Boulevard the year before when a drag racer killed a woman, Samara Banks, 27, and three of her children.

FOX29 reported that so far in 2018, 14 people have been killed on the boulevard. Just this week, police were investigating the road-rage stabbing of a woman who had been traveling on the boulevard with her 4-year-old niece in the backseat.

According to the bill, the cameras would "automatically detect vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit" on roadways where construction, maintenance or utility workers are located on the roadway, berm or shoulder. And there will be displayed warning signs, so motorists will know the area is a work zone and vehicle speed is being recorded.

The bill includes the pilot program here to enforce a maximum speed limit on Route 1 from Ninth Street north to the city's boundary with Bucks County. The penalty for speeding under the bill will be a $150 fine for each offense.

According to the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia, an instrumental group in the formation of the bill, the Philadelphia Parking Authority will begin installing the cameras in January 2019. 

"This is a special victory for the residents of North Philadelphia who live near or drive on Roosevelt Boulevard," Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the BCGP told FOX29 in a statement. "For too many years, this badly designed highway has allowed motorists to speed with impunity and cause fatalities that have wrecked families and communities."

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