The installation of nearly three dozen speed cameras will begin in the coming days along Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard, one of the city and state's most dangerous roadways, city and state officials said Monday.
A total of 32 cameras are being installed at eight intersections along the Boulevard, which is officially numbered U.S. 1. They are:
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Banks Way
- Roosevelt Boulevard at F Street
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Deveraux Street
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Harbison Avenue
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Strahle Street
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Grant Avenue
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Red Lion Road (near Whitten Street)
- Roosevelt Boulevard at Southampton Road (near Horning Street)
The speed camera enforcement zone represents a nearly 12 mile stretch of roadway that is dangerous for drivers and too often deadly for pedestrians.
Drivers who are recorded traveling 11 mph over the posted speed limit will be mailed a violation and slapped with a fine up to $150 per offense. Points will not be assessed to a violator's driving record. Police officers will review each potential violation before it is issued, officials said.
There will be signs posted warning drivers that they're entering a speed camera zone and cameras will cover all lanes. Once the cameras are fully operational, there will be a 60 day warning period where fines are not issued.
Transportation officials expect the first cameras to be up-and-running by the beginning of March. Similar, mobile versions of the cameras are being deployed at roadwork construction sites across Pennsylvania.
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Roosevelt Boulevard begins as a freeway in East Falls before snaking through North Philadelphia into the city's northeast neighborhoods carrying drivers to the border with Bucks County. The 12 lane roadway is separated into inner and outer drives with drivers often speeding through pedestrian-heavy intersections in excess of the posted speed limit.
Red light cameras installed in 2005 are credited with reducing red-light running by 50%, transportation officials said on Monday. Still, that hasn't been enough to prevent scores of crashes and deaths.
In 2019, nine people were killed in traffic crashes on the Boulevard, officials said.
Philadelphia averaged 40 hit-and-run crashes a day citywide between 2017 and 2018, according to data analyzed by the NBC10 Investigators. The vast majority of those crashes happened along Roosevelt Boulevard. The data showed that 17 hit-and-run crashes were reported in the same time period at F Street and Roosevelt Boulevard, one of the intersections were cameras are being installed.
Another intersection getting speed cameras, Roosevelt Boulevard at Banks Way, saw the deaths of 28-year-old mother Samara Banks and three of her young sons. They were struck while crossing the road in 2013 by a street racer. A fourth son survived the crash. The pedestrian crosswalk is named in the family's memory.
City officials say saving lives is the goal of the cameras. They point to data from New York City which saw reduced speeding at camera locations by 63% and fatal crashes by 55% between 2014 and 2017.
"We hope that there is never a citation that is issued. We just want [drivers] to slow down," Pa. Rep. John Taylor, who authored legislation to usher in the camera's installation, said during a news conference Monday.
Mayor Jim Kenney said the speed cameras will help his administration achieve Vision Zero: the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities by 2030. He said his administration will be focused on improving pedestrian and children's safety in his newly-begun second term.