Speed Cameras Look to Slow Cars on Roosevelt Boulevard

A pilot program approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly allows for speed cameras along Northeast Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard and in work zones on state roads.

What to Know

  • A pilot program allows for speed cameras along Northeast Philadelphia's Roosevelt Boulevard and in work zones on state roads.
  • The measure was approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
  • It allows for tickets up to $150 for going 11 mph above the posted speed limit.

A warning for drivers who go above the speed limit on Philadelphia’s busy Roosevelt Boulevard, you could soon be nabbed by technology.

Speed cameras could soon be installed along the boulevard.

The Pennsylvania Senate approved the speed camera pilot program, Senate Bill 172, Tuesday. Gov. Tom Wolf is expected to sign the measure within the next 10 days, auto club AAA Mid-Atlantic said.

Drivers will get a ticket if they go more than 11 miles an hour over the set speed limit, AAA said.

The area covered by cameras runs between 9th Street and the Bucks County line and fines will be $150 or less and can vary depending if it is a first, second or subsequent offense.

Warning signs must be posted and only warnings will be issued for the first 30 days, according to the measure.

House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. John Taylor, R-Philadelphia, helped get the legislation passed in the State House.

The multi-lane boulevard (U.S. Route 1) through Northeast Philly is one of the busiest and most dangerous stretches of highway in the city, AAA said.

“We believe automated speed camera systems, when implemented with AAA-supported motorist protections as outlined in SB 172, can contribute to the goal of reducing unnecessary fatalities and promoting traffic safety for all road users along Roosevelt Boulevard and in work zones across the state,” said Jana Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

At least 14 people have died so far in 2018 and the boulevard typically makes up at least 10 percent of Philadelphia’s road deaths, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia said.

The bike coalition applauded the passage of the speed camera legislation as part of the Vision Zero plan to make City roads safer.

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

The bill also allows PennDOT to install speed cameras in work zones on state highways over a five-year trial period. In 2015 alone there were nearly 2,000 work-zone crashes, including 23 deaths, bill sponsors Sen. David Argall, R-Berks/Schuylkill counties, and Sen. Judith Schwank, D- Berks County, said.

“We’ve heard from family members of highway workers who fear the lives of their loved ones,” Argall said. “We heard it loud and clear: protect the lives of workers and that’s what this bill will do.”

In work zones, drivers exceeding the speed limit by at least 11 mph when workers are present will receive a written warning for the first offense, a $75 fine for the second offense and a $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses.

“The goal is to change driver behavior and make motorists think twice before speeding in work zones that puts their lives and the lives of innocent workers at risk,” Argall added.

NBC10 has reached out to Philadelphia officials to find out exactly how they plan to implement the boulevard speed cameras.

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