Last week, Pennsylvania House Representative John Taylor (177th District) introduced House Bill 1187 to allow the deployment of speed cameras on one of the State’s and City’s deadliest roadways: Roosevelt Boulevard. The Bicycle Coalition has been working on this issue for several years and passage of this legislation is a goal of Mayor Kenney’s Vision Zero Action Plan. Last year, 12 people died on the Boulevard. While the Boulevard makes up less than half of one percent of the 2,500 miles of roads in Philadelphia, 15% of Philadelphia’s roadway deaths occurred there in 2016.
The bill will amend Pennsylvania vehicle code Title 75, providing for an automated speed enforcement system pilot program on 9 miles of Route 1 (Roosevelt Boulevard), spanning from 9th Street in Philadelphia to the Bucks County line.
Warning signs will notify drivers and must be, as stated in the bill, “conspicuously placed at the beginning and end and at two-mile intervals” so drivers are adequately notified. Violations will be issued only to those operating 11 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. Warning notices with no fines will be issued for the first two months; after that time period, each violation will be $150 and no points will be added to the driver’s license.
Representative Taylor repeatedly has made it clear that safety is the primary reason for his legislation. The system is being designed to take appropriate precautions to protect drivers, and the fines collected will pay for the system’s operation. Any funds left over will be designated for road safety improvements, in a similar manner to how revenue collected from red light camera fines are currently deployed.