Automated speed cameras are finally coming to Roosevelt Boulevard, fulfilling the city’s long-standing promise to try to slow down drivers on what’s considered Philadelphia’s most dangerous roadway.
The installation of cameras at the first of eight locations was announced Monday in Northeast Philadelphia.
“Today, we are one step closer to calming speeds in one of the most dangerous roads in our city,” Mayor Jim Kenney said at a news conference. “Adding automated speed cameras on the Boulevard is one of the most effective steps that we can take toward eliminating traffic deaths.”
Locations included in the pilot rollout are Banks Way, F Street, Devereaux Street, Harbison Avenue, Strahle Street, Grant Avenue, Red Lion Road near Whitten Street, and Southampton Road near Horning Road, according to the Philadelphia Parking Authority. A total of 32 cameras will be part of the enforcement effort.
Drivers going more than 11 mph over the speed limit could be mailed a hefty penalty of between $100 to $150, though no points will be added to drivers’ records.
But they won’t feel the consequences yet — motorists will get a 60-day grace period before seeing any fines once the cameras are installed and tested, anticipated in five to six weeks, said PPA Executive Director Scott Petri, who attended the news conference along with City Councilmember Bobby Henon and other officials.
“They have to be tested before they can be activated,” Petri said. “So, until all eight are done, we won’t get into the warning period. But they go in very, very quickly.”
There were seven fatal vehicle crashes in 2019, according to police data. In 2018, 21 people died on the road in one of its deadliest years in recent history. The Boulevard accounted for 8% of all crashes in the city that resulted in death or serious injury from 2013 to 2017, The Inquirer has reported.
The enforcement program, made possible with approval from the state, has been some time in the making. Kenney approved speed camera legislation in June, shortly after Council voted unanimously in favor. The speed cameras, administered by the PPA, were expected to be in place by the end of last year but were delayed by “regulatory matters,” Petri said.
“That took longer, I think, in Harrisburg than people anticipated,” Petri said.