Speed-detection cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard move one step closer to reality

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Speed-detection cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard move one step closer to reality as reported by Dann Cullar during Action News at 11 on October 2, 2018.

In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney's administration has been pushing for speed cameras on the Roosevelt Boulevard for a while now saying they could make the roadway safer.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Senate approved the use of speed cameras across the state in a 47-1 vote. The bill was already approved by the House, so it now it awaits Governor Tom Wolf's signature. Wolf has expressed support of the measure.

The use of cameras has its supporters and detractors among drivers on the Boulevard.

"The Boulevard is scary sometimes because people treat it like a racetrack," said Ashley Lamaina of Mayfair.

The Boulevard is rated as one of the most dangerous roadways in the country. According to city records, the 12-lane divided highway saw about 3,000 crashes in 2017. So far this year, police say there have been 13 deaths, there were eight the previous year.

The speed limit on the Roosevelt Boulevard is 40 mph between 9th Street and Cottman Avenue, and 45 mph between Cottman Avenue to the Bucks County line. On Monday night, Action News captured electronic speed signs showing motorists speed tracked at upwards of 50 to 63 mph.

AAA not only supports the speed cameras on the Boulevard but also those that will be placed on highway workzones across the state.

The plan is to install nine cameras along the 12-mile stretch of the Roosevelt Boulevard from the city's border with Bucks County to the 9th Street intersection in Hunting Park.

Signs would be placed every two miles warning drivers about the speed cameras, much like the red light cameras already installed. Anyone going 11 miles over the speed limit would receive a $150 ticket in the mail.

However, some motorists don't like the idea.

"A lot of things are money-makers, sorry to say, and it's because they're looking for some way, shape, or form to figure out how to get it," said Tammy Stark. "It's the cops that need to be out here enforcing all that stuff, not cameras."

But many people say the cameras will help to cut some of the craziness.

"You got to have four eyes when you drive," said Joe Disalvo. "I try to stay in one lane, but they're going in this way and that way and they don't even care, even in bad weather."

The Philadelphia Parking Authority says the cameras could be in place by January.

There would be a 30-day grace period in which drivers would get warning tickets. After that, an infraction would warrant a $150 fine.

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