A picture is worth $100: Speed cameras successfully slowing traffic on Roosevelt Blvd.

Cars visible driving north on Roosevelt Boulevard.

Traffic heads north on Roosevelt Boulevard near East Front Street. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Speed cameras installed along Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia are doing their job at slowing down the majority of speeders on the roadway, according to a new report from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The report shows speeding has decreased on the Boulevard by over 90% since the cameras were installed in the summer of 2020. Before the cameras were installed, drivers sometimes clocked speeds over 130 MPH, said Corinne O’Connor, PPA deputy executive director.

While cameras were in test mode, PPA issued up to 7,000 warnings per day for people driving over the 45 MPH limit. Once the fines started being issued in September 2020, speed violators dropped to about 1,200 a day. O’Connor said those violations are now down to about 700 per day.

“The amount of people that are going over 100 miles an hour and the amount of people that are actually being tracked at speed on the boulevard has significantly dropped. So, we’re happy to see that,” O’Connor said.

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The cameras were authorized by the state legislature as part of a pilot program with a provision that they be shut down in 2023 if not permanently authorized by the state. PPA is asking lawmakers to make the cameras permanent, as well as expand where they’re placed in the city.

While there are no definite expansion plans right now, there has been some discussion of where they may be placed in the future.

“We’ve received a couple of requests for, say, Kelly Drive, Cobbs Creek Parkway, and a portion of Torresdale Avenue,” O’Connor said, adding that those areas are where drivers are known to go above the speed limit on a regular basis.

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The cameras have been money-makers, too. O’Connor estimated that, in 2021 alone, the automated violations have generated about $12 million in revenue. That revenue, along with revenue from a similar speed camera setup in work zones, will generate $22.1 million for safety projects in Pennsylvania.

Two new intersections along Roosevelt Boulevard are slated for speed camera installation. Starting June 1, cameras will begin testing at 7th and the Boulevard and at Summerdale Avenue, with fines beginning in August if all goes according to plan.

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