What to Know
- Roosevelt Boulevard expanded to as many as 12 lanes in some stretches of Northeast Philadelphia.
- A 12-mile stretch from Ninth Street through Northeast Philadelphia has long had the reputation as the deadliest road in the city.
- New York City and Washington D.C. already have hundreds of speed cameras operating.
Cameras equipped to capture the speed of passing motor vehicles will be installed along Roosevelt Boulevard north of Ninth Street to Philadelphia's border with Bucks County.
City Council approved legislation for the installation of the new cameras, and Mayor Jim Kenney will sign it into law, a mayoral spokeswoman said.
Drivers going faster than the speed limit along the 12-mile stretch will be given warnings during an initial 60-day grace period. Warning signs will about be posted in the area of the expected seven to 11 camera locations.
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After the grace period, cameras will be programmed to take photos of any vehicles going 11 mph over the 45-mile-per-hour speed limit and mail them a ticket. Vehicles going between 11 and 20 miles over the speed limit would be fined $100; vehicles going between 21 and 30 miles over the speed limit would be fined $125; and vehicles going more than 31 miles over the speed limit would be fined $150, according to the legislation.
Supporters of the legislation, which is part of the city's Vision Zero road safety initiative, include the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia.
"Managing speeds to save lives is a cornerstone of Vision Zero," A spokeswoman for Kenney said in an email Thursday. "With around 100 people being killed in traffic crashes on Philadelphia streets every year, we are committed to continuing to bring to together street design, education, enforcement, and policy changes that will manage speeds and, thus, save lives making Philadelphia streets safe for everyone."
The stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard from Hunting Park at Ninth Street to Northeast Philadelphia's border with Bucks County is more highway than inter-city thoroughfare.
Between 2013 and 2017, 139 people died or were seriously hurt, according to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation statistics provided by Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, who sponsored the speed-camera legislation.
The boulevard, which is six lanes and expands to as much as 12 lanes the farther north it goes, has long been known as one of the deadliest in all of Pennsylvania.
Red-light cameras have operated for years in some locations along the boulevard. But problems with those cameras' functionality have hindered their success in slowing speeding drivers or lessening fatalities.
"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," Parker said.
Speed cameras already operate in other cities, including New York City, where 600 new cameras were approved this week for streets around city schools.
In Washington, D.C., an incredible 1 million tickets were issued via speed cameras in 2017.
In Maryland, speed cameras across the state brought in $64 million in revenue in 2018.