March 19, 2019
Philadelphia could soon take an aggressive measure to curb speeding motorists on Roosevelt Boulevard, one of the most dangerous and crash-prone roadways in the city.
A new bill under consideration in City Council would authorize the installation of speed cameras on an 11.75-mile corridor of Roosevelt Boulevard between Ninth Street and the Philadelphia County Line. There already are red-light cameras installed at some intersections along the boulevard.
PennDOT statistics show that stretch accounts for 8 percent of all fatal and severe injury crashes in Philadelphia. Roosevelt Boulevard, as a whole, was the site of 2,695 crashes between 2013-2017. There were 139 deaths or serious injuries during that span.
The new bill, introduced by 9th District Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, comes on the heels of the state legislature approving a law last year that allows for the installation of speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard.
“The tragic stories of people being killed or seriously injured on Roosevelt Boulevard have become all too common, but this doesn’t have to be the case,” Parker said. “We know that speed is especially deadly for people walking and biking, and that if we can get motorists to change their behavior and slow down, we can reduce crashes and save lives.”
Once the cameras are installed, drivers would be given a 60-day grace period to adjust to the new penalties, receiving warning notices instead of fines. Warning signs also would \ be posted in the vicinities of the cameras to warn motorists. Between seven and 11 locations would be under speed-camera surveillance under the proposed bill.
After 60 days, speed cameras would automatically take photos of any vehicles going 11 mph over the 45 mph speed limit. Drivers would receive fines in the mail. Those traveling between 11-20 mph over the limit would be fined $100, while vehicles driving between 21 and 30 mph over the limit would be fined $125. Any vehicle traveling 31 mph or faster than the speed limit would be fined $150.
The bill is intended to help Philadelphia reach its Vision Zero goals to improve road safety and drastically reduce the number of accidents on city streets.
“This is an invaluable step for Philadelphia to implement Vision Zero," said Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. "Countless lives will be saved with automated enforcement on Roosevelt Boulevard, and we applaud the Mayor and City Council for doing their part to make this precedent-setting safety measure possible.”