In Philly, Roosevelt Boulevard anti-speeding program ruled a success

‘The evidence is clear. Automated speed enforcement saves lives,’ a city official said

By: - August 16, 2022 10:41 am

(Coemgenus at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

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PHILADELPHIA — A 2-year-old camera system has helped mitigate the chaos and danger of Roosevelt Boulevard, according to city officials.

Mayor Jim Kenney, alongside other city and state officials, will hold a news conference Tuesday to highlight the success of Roosevelt Boulevard’s Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) pilot program.

According to data released by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), in the first seven months of its implementation, ASE helped reduce traffic fatalities occurring on Roosevelt Boulevard by an approximate 50 percent. Additionally, monthly speeding violations have fallen drastically since the implementation of ASE, with an approximate reduction of 93 percent occurring from 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,” Kenney said. “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 speed camera program went into full effect in June 2020 as part of the city’s Vision Zero road safety initiative. The initiative was developed with the goal of reducing the city’s traffic fatalities down to zero by the year 2030.

Prior to the implementation of these cameras, Roosevelt Boulevard, also known as Route 1, developed the reputation of being one of the city’s most dangerous roadways. According to Vision Zero Philadelphia’s website, Between 2013 and 2017 there were 2,695 crashes on Roosevelt Boulevard with at least 139 of them either resulting in death or injury.

A similar program has also shown success at the state level with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the Pennsylvania State Police working together to implement its Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program around the same time last year.

As a result of this implementation, PennDOT has reported that there was a 25 percent decrease in fatal car crashes over the first year and a half.

City and state officials are calling for action on the state level to make these cameras a permanent addition to Philadelphia’s streets.

“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.”

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