[Press Statement released by the City of Philadelphia]
Data show a significant reduction in traffic fatalities on the Boulevard since its implementation; but new legislation is needed to continue the program set to expire in 2023
PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney joined today City and State officials to highlight the success of the Roosevelt Boulevard Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) pilot program and to advocate for City and State legislation to continue the speed cameras program set to expire in 2023, expand it throughout Philadelphia, and implement it in active work zones.
Roosevelt Boulevard was chosen to be a pilot of the ASE program because it has one of the highest rates of crashes in the City. 55 percent of crashes on the Boulevard were either speeding related or a result of aggressive driving (Data source: PennDOT). Since the introduction of ASE in June 2020, data shows an approximate 50 percent reduction in traffic fatalities in the first seven months of implementation. Additionally, monthly speeding violations fell 93 percent from when the pilot program began in June 2020 to January 2022.
“The success of Automated Speed Enforcement here on Roosevelt Boulevard cannot be overstated. Even as traffic crashes rose in late 2020 in Philadelphia and across the country, the Boulevard saw 200 fewer crashes in the first seven months,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “New legislation, at the state and local level, is needed to keep these cameras operating, bring the success of Automated Speed Enforcement to other corridors throughout our city and save lives.”
The success of the pilot program, administered by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), means that there is uniform and consistent speed enforcement. This helps manage driving speeds as well as reduce the number of crashes resulting in serious injury or fatalities as detailed in the PPA’s Roosevelt Boulevard Speed Camera Annual Report 2022.
“The PPA is pleased to partner with the City’s Streets Department and OTIS to run the life-saving speed camera enforcement program which has already dramatically reduced speeding by over 90 percent on Roosevelt Boulevard,” said Philadelphia’s Parking Authority Chairperson, Beth Grossman. “We wholeheartedly support making the speed camera enforcement program a permanent public safety tool that will continue to save multiple lives by reducing speeding on what was once one of the most dangerous highways in the country.”
A similar pilot program for Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) across the state has also proven successful in improving safety since it was implemented in 2020. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reported 25 percent fewer fatal crashes over the first year and a half.
“The twilight for the automated speed cameras pilot is approaching,” said Co-Founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia, Latanya Byrd. “Everyone in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties wants to travel safely without fear of a crash that may end their life or the life of a loved one.”
Action by State legislators in Harrisburg is needed to make these programs permanent and expand the locations where these cameras can be installed to save lives.
“Now, two years after the cameras were turned on, the positive impact of these programs has been proven. We have seen a 93 percent reduction in speeding from when enforcement began in June 2020,” said Deputy Managing Director for Transportation, Mike Carroll. “The evidence is clear. Automated speed enforcement saves lives.”
The City remains committed to our Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Philadelphia, and encourages everyone to join us in advocating for the continued use of this life-saving program. For more information about how speed cameras save lives visit this blog. To view an infographic of the ASE pilot program results, check out this fact sheet.