To combat speeding behaviors on one Philadelphia street notorious for crashes, the city is installing speed cameras at eight different points along Roosevelt Boulevard. Thirty-two speed cameras will be added to red-light cameras already in place at nine other intersections in the area. Officials say they have seen an 82 percent drop in red-light violations since the program began and hope this new technology will deter speeders and ultimately save lives.
In different studies over the years, Roosevelt Boulevard has been named not only the most dangerous street in Philadelphia, but one of the most dangerous streets in the entire country. Six lanes in each direction, dangerous curves, and confusing intersections make the 14.9-mile stretch prone to accidents. In 2018, one in five fatal crashes in the city of Philadelphia occurred on Roosevelt Boulevard.
Traffic Cameras Decrease Accidents
If the speed camera initiative offers the same results as red-light cameras, they may be a great tool for deterring reckless drivers, bringing the city closer to its “Vision Zero” goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities by the year 2030. At the time red light cameras were first installed at the Grant Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard intersection in 2005, more than 25,000 violations were recorded. At the same intersection in 2018, red light infractions fell to just over 4,600. Officials hope cameras will have the same impact to reduce speeding.
Penalties for Speeding Violations
After an initial 60-day warning period, drivers caught on camera driving at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit will be fined upwards of $150, depending on how fast they were going. Tickets will be mailed to the driver’s residence, but no points will be added to the violator’s driving record. Once drivers know they are being recorded, they may make safer choices behind the wheel.
Surprisingly, not everyone thinks speed cameras are a good idea. Opponents of the program point to Washington, D.C. and other communities that have not seen any reduction in serious and fatal accidents since installing them. They call the program a money-grab and say the city is overlooking other alternatives to improve safety simply because they would reduce the income that comes with speeding tickets.
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