Despite 2020 being a horrific year for traffic crashes in Philadelphia — 153 people were killed, a 78 percent increase over 2019 — total crashes on Roosevelt Boulevard, which received automated enforcement cameras in July 2020, actually dropped.

That’s according to PennDOT data shared with the Bicycle Coalition, after a special request for data, which we graphed here:

While we can’t say for certain the new automated enforcement safety cameras were the single difference maker, it is certainly positive news for this aspect of safe streets in Philadelphia. Especially considering the other bright spots of a recent Philadelphia Parking Authority report about the cameras, and the fact that the Roosevelt Boulevard re-engineering project is still moving forward.

Earlier this week, we reported on the PPA report that was delivered to Governor Wolf and the General Assembly on May 11th that provide the first year look at the outcome of automated enforcement along the nine mile section of Roosevelt Boulevard. The results were stunning.

Tickets dropped 93% from the beginning of the program (summer 2020) to February 2021. And the incidents of excessive speeding (over 100 MPH) went from 70 to 7 over the same period.

We asked PennDOT if they would share with us the yearly crash data to see if we could see the impact of the automated enforcement.  The District 6 office provided to us annual crash and severity data between 2011 and 2020.

We conclude from the graphs that despite the pandemic impact that caused traffic fatalities to go up 78 percent throughout the City of Philadelphia, this stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard had a dropped in crashes in 2020 and a drop in per capita fatalities.

To us, this means that during its first year, the automated speed enforcement counteracted the pandemic’s impact on crashes that increased the number of killed and severely injured motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on the City’s most dangerous roadway.

This is a powerful confirmation that automated enforcement works and should be allowed to work elsewhere in the City where speeding motorists are killing themselves and others.

See the raw data here.

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