Camera plan eyes Blvd. speedersPols want change in highway's 'culture'
By DAMON C. WILLIAMS
Three state legislators from Philadelphia announced yesterday that they have introduced a bill that would crack down on speeders and traffic violators on Roosevelt Boulevard.
The legislation would authorize the Philadelphia Parking Authority to install speed-detection cameras in the red-light cameras now functioning at key intersections along the Boulevard, one of the most dangerous stretches of roadway in the city.
"Two years ago, we held a press conference to announce the red-light-camera program," said state Rep. John Perzel at a news conference in his Northeast office.
"Our aim back then was to save lives. And again we're partnering with the Philadelphia Parking Authority to save lives."
Perzel was joined by fellow state Reps. George Kenney and John Taylor, and Parking Authority Executive Director Vince Fenerty.
Should the legislation pass in June - and Perzel believes he has wide bipartisan support - the red-light cameras would be converted to "Speed on Green" lights.
They are designed to snap pictures of the license plates of speeding drivers. The registered owner of the vehicle would receive a summons in the mail, and the fees will be steep.
Drivers would be fined between $135 to $500 depending on how fast they are caught traveling over the speed limit.
"The revenues generated will be put in the Motor License Fund," Kenney said. "And then PennDOT, working with the city and PPA, will come up with safety mechanisms."
They could include new pedestrian bridges and better warning signs.
There are now three red-light cameras on the Boulevard, one each at Grant Avenue, at Red Lion Road and at Cottman Avenue. They would be refitted for speed-sensing capabilities, Fenerty said.
Also, new cameras would be installed at Southampton and at Welsh roads, and at Rhawn, Levick and Mascher streets.
The lawmakers said they hope the steep fines will change the thinking of drivers on the Boulevard.
"It should change the culture of driving on the Boulevard," Taylor said.
"We want to save lives."