Good news: House Bill 1187 has passed the House Transportation Committee, and will soon be debated in the full Pennsylvania House.
House Bill 1187 would create a Pilot program for speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia. Roosevelt Boulevard is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the United States.
Roosevelt makes up only 0.6 percent of all Philadelphia’s 2,500 miles of streets. Yet over a 5 year period, 2011-2015, 13 percent of all traffic fatalities occurred on Roosevelt Boulevard.
The speed camera legislation, as currently written, would give warnings, then fines, to drivers who exceed speed of 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. Philadelphia Police Department representatives have stated at Bicycle Coalition conferences that speed is the main cause of fatal crashes in Philadelphia.
The Bicycle Coalition has spent the last year advocating in the state House for this and other bills, including an extension to the state’s red light camera program, which passed last year.
The fast momentum on this bill came from a few places. First off, Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) has been working by our side for more than a year on this. As the head of the Transportation Committee, he listened to our concerns, held a press conference with us on this issue, and was a keynote speaker at our Vision Zero Conference. His advocacy alongside the Bicycle Coalition is important.
The Bicycle Coalition worked with other state groups to help put together this bill. While working with State Rep. Taylor, we also traveled out to Harrisburg on several occasions and met with state representatives and senators from all over Pennsylvania—not just Philadelphia—to gain support on this issue. (Reports from our meetings in Harrisburg can be found here and here.)
Last but not least, Channabel Morris has been out front on this issue, by our side, for over a year and has played a HUGE part in our advocacy. Her role cannot be overstated. (Read more about Channabel’s advocacy here.)
In the coming days, we will let you know how you can help us make sure the bill gets passed in the House, Senate, and eventually gets to the governor’s desk.