PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Councilwoman Cherelle Parker introduced a bill Thursday that would authorize the installation of speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard, one of the most dangerous roads in the country. In a four-year period, 139 people were killed or seriously injured in nearly 2,700 crashes.
There have been many stories of heartache and loss from the stretch of road. The bill is aiming to curb deadly accidents through technology.
“I was taking my son to school and I seen someone pass by and pass on a red light and beeping the horn and cursing, very foul language,” one traveler said.
It’s a roadway that has struggled to contain an influx of increasingly stressed travelers.
On Roosevelt Boulevard, drivers and pedestrians have been paying the price for others driving too fast .
“They speed all the time and it’s hard, early in the morning rush,” one man said.
Widely considered one of the most dangerous roads in America, 139 people died or were seriously injured on Roosevelt Boulevard between 2013 and 2017. It saw 2,695 crashes in that time.
“We are hoping to slow people down and save lives,” Christopher Puchalsky, director of policy and strategic initiatives for Philadelphia, said.
While infrastructure plans push forward as a long-term safety remedy, the near future could hold another possibility — speed cameras installed on the boulevard between 9th Street and the Philadelphia County line.
“They have been very effective elsewhere, in New York City for example, when they rolled out they reduced fatalities by 55 percent,” Puchalsky said. “We are hoping it will have the same effect on Roosevelt Boulevard.”
The technology would be the first of its kind in the commonwealth. Last year, the Pennsylvania Senate passed Bill 172, allowing Philadelphia the option to install speed cameras on the boulevard.
Thursday afternoon, a bill was introduced to city council to install the cameras by the end of the year.
“It would be safer for the town of Philadelphia, it would be safer for the children on the road, for our kids, for us,” a traveler said.
If passed, drivers would have a 60-day grace period where they receive warnings. After that, tickets will range from $125 to $150.
“Eighty percent of people with these kinds of devices, they only get one ticket, they learn and then they slow down,” Puchalsky said.
The bill seems to have a good deal of support. It now must make its way through a committee hearing in the city. It could be passed within a month.