Philadelphia's recent legislative victory with the passing of HB1284 is a positive step towards improving road safety for the most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, and cyclists. The Roosevelt Boulevard Automated Speed Enforcement pilot was set to expire at the end of 2023; HB1284 permanently reauthorized this program and expands it to five additional high-risk corridors in Philadelphia. This development is particularly significant given the alarming increase in bike fatalities in 2023, reaching a tragic milestone of 10 lost lives in Philadelphia as we end the year.
The Passage of HB1284: A Critical Step Forward
The approval of HB1284 by both the Senate and the House and the expected signature by Governor Shapiro represents a major advancement in road safety measures in Philadelphia. This law is a major win for road safety advocates, as Roosevelt Boulevard has long been known for its high traffic crash and fatality rates. The expansion of speed camera coverage, though not as extensive as initially hoped, is a significant step toward making Philadelphia's roads safer for all. Advocates were working to make all roads in Philadelphia eligible for speed cameras, but that effort did not come to fruition.
Impact of Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras (ASE): The Roosevelt Boulevard Pilot
The ASE Pilot on Roosevelt Boulevard became fully functional in August of 2020. Since that time, several groups, government agencies and academics have studied the effectiveness. According to the 2023 Vision Zero report, the ASE on Roosevelt Boulevard has helped to save 36 lives since its implementation. Other significant findings:
- 95% fewer speeding violations.
- 21% fewer fatal and serious injury crashes.
- 50% fewer crashes involving people walking.
The Impact of Community Efforts
The passage of HB1284 is a perfect example of what can be achieved through community mobilization and advocacy. There are several advocacy groups who worked on this effort: The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Families for Safe Streets Philadelphia, PA Safe Roads PAC, Office of Transportation, Infrastructure & Sustainability and more. These groups and their supporters were instrumental in bringing this legislative victory over the finish line. Special gratitude to outgoing Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart of the Bike Coalition and Latonya Bird and Laura and Rich Fredricks from Families for Safe Streets. Their dedicated lobbying in Harrisburg was crucial in convincing elected officials of the life-saving benefits of speed camera technology.
The Role of Bike Advocates at Piscitello Law
While Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras are an important tool in the growing toolbox to make our roads in Philadelphia and across the state safer, they are by no means the end of this effort. There is much work to do to improve safety. Cyclists and pedestrians continue to be injured and killed on our roadways. In the face of these ongoing traffic crashes, having the support of specialized legal advocates like Piscitello Law is invaluable. They provide crucial assistance to those injured in bike or pedestrian crashes, offering expertise in navigating the complexities of legal claims. Their knowledge of bike law and commitment to road safety make them an essential ally in the aftermath of a crash. Piscitello Law also works tirelessly to help cyclists learn how to avoid crashes and how to be properly insured through auto policies.