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May 21, 2020

Roosevelt Boulevard's speed cameras begin operating on June 1

For the first 60 days, drivers traveling too fast on the boulevard will get warnings by mail; after that, tickets will be issued

Transportation Roosevelt Boulevard
Speed cameras Philadelphia Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

The photo above shows a red-light camera on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia. More recently the Philadelphia Parking Authority installed 32 speed-monitoring cameras along the roadway. On June 1, the new cameras get turned on and after a 60-day warning period, drivers can get ticketed for speeding.

The 32 newly installed speed-monitoring traffic cameras along Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard get activated on June 1.

The cameras are operated by the Philadelphia Parking Authority and cover an 11 3/4-mile stretch of the boulevard positioned at eight locations: Banks Way, F Street, Devereaux Street, Harbison Avenue, Strahle Street, Grant Avenue, Red Lion Road near Whitten Street, and Southampton Road near Horning Road.

The parking authority began installing cameras in January, but the plans were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Tom Wolf's executive order that had temporarily halted construction. The governor lifted the limitations on May 1. 

The speed limit along most of Roosevelt Boulevard is 45 mph. For the first 60 days after the cameras are turned on, the PPA will only issue warnings by mail to drivers traveling more than 11 mph above the speed limit, a PPA spokesperson told the Inquirer.

The warning period allows drivers time to adjust to the new system. After it ends, speed limit violators will be issued tickets by the PPA.

Fines will increase incrementally based on a vehicle's speed, from $100 for traveling 11-20 mph faster than the posted limit; $125 for exceeding the speed limit by 21-30 mph; to $150 for speeding 31 mph above.

These tickets will not result in points to a driver's license.

Mayor Jim Kenney signed an ordinance to allow the use of speed-monitoring cameras in June 2019. The cameras are part of Kenney's Vision Zero Plan, which seeks to make Philly streets safer and reduce traffic-related deaths. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 139 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes on Roosevelt Boulevard between 2013 and 2017. There were a total of 2,695 crashes during that five year period.

In 2019, a report published from PennDOT data found that a portion of Roosevelt Boulevard through Northeast Philly's Rhawnhurst neighborhood was the deadliest stretch of road in Pennsylvania – it's a dubious distinction the boulevard has earned from several times in the past.

Roosevelt Boulevard already has nine intersections monitored by red-light cameras. The PPA says that since these cameras were installed in 2005, the number of motorists running red lights on the boulevard at intersections with cameras has decreased intersections by 58%.

The first red-light camera was at Roosevelt Boulevard and Grant Avenue. In 2005, it recorded 25,673 red-light violations.  At this same intersection in 2018, that number had decreased to 4,697 violations – or 82% fewer incidents.

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