Family struck on highway

A makeshift memorial near where a mother and three sons were killed while trying to cross Roosevelt Boulevard in 2013.

— AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Motorists beware: Speed cameras are coming to Roosevelt Boulevard.

City Council voted Thursday to install an automated speed enforcement system along the city’s deadliest roadway, a nearly 13-mile stretch where 21 traffic-related fatalities occurred last year.

The city will set up speeding cameras along the 12-lane road between 9th Street and the border with Bucks County. The cameras will detect drivers traveling at least 11 miles per hour over the 45-mile-per-hour speed limit, doling out fines from $100 to $150.

Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, the main sponsor of the legislation, said in a released statement that traffic-related injuries and fatalities along the multi-lane highway have become all too common.

“We know that speed is especially deadly for people walking and biking, and that if we can get motorists to change their behavior and slow down, we can reduce crashes and save lives,” said Parker, whose 9th District includes 2 miles of Roosevelt Boulevard.

Council President Darrell Clarke and Council members Cindy Bass and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez co-sponsored the legislation.

The bill now goes to Mayor Jim Kenney to sign or veto.

Kenney’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Randy Lobasso, policy manager for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said in a phone interview that automated enforcement installed in cities across the country has been shown to change the behavior of motorists and reduce traffic speeds.

Lobasso noted that speeding cameras do not discriminate.

“It’s not like someone can be pulled over and get a ticket because a police officer is looking for someone with a certain color skin,” he said.

The city will install between seven and 11 speeding cameras. Signage will be posted in those areas to warn motorists about the cameras, which will take photos of speeding vehicles and mail them tickets.

Motorists traveling over the speed limit by the following amounts can expect to pay:

$100: 11-19 miles per hour over the limit

$125: 20-29 miles per hour over the limit

$150: 30 miles per hour and above

Violators will have a 60 days to pay the ticket or face additional fines. Motorists can receive as many as three violations within a 30-minute period.

The legislation also allows the city to tow vehicles whose drivers fail to pay three or more tickets issued by the speed cameras.

Last year, state lawmakers passed legislation allowing the city to install speed cameras along Roosevelt Boulevard.

The road remains a top priority for the city’s Vision Zero, a policy and task force created by Kenney with the goal to reduce traffic-related deaths to zero by 2030.

Between 2013 and 2017, 139 people were either killed or critically injured on Roosevelt Boulevard.

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