It’s time for automated speed cameras on Lincoln Drive

Posted 6/15/23

Speeding kills. Mt. Airy residents have asked repeatedly for speed cameras on Lincoln Drive. 

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It’s time for automated speed cameras on Lincoln Drive


Speeding kills. A pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 20 MPH has a 90% chance of surviving, according to the Federal Highway Administration. But the survival rate drops to just 10% at going just 40 MPH. 

That grim fact was on everyone’s mind as 20 Philadelphia residents, eight from Mt Airy, traveled to Harrisburg on June 6th to lobby for automated speed cameras in Philadelphia. The lobbying day was organized by Nicole Brunet, policy director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and supported by West Mt Airy Neighbors Traffic Calming Committee.

Everyone wanted to do what they could to prevent another death from speeding. Some of the citizen lobbyists live along busy arterial roads, like Lincoln Drive, and have seen an increase in speeding and crashes over the past several years. Others in the group lost family members to traffic violence or are victims themselves. They were on a mission to advocate for proven safety measures like speed cameras.

Once the most dangerous road in the city, the injury rate on Roosevelt Boulevard began to shrink in June 2020 even as other streets saw increases. This dramatic change wasn’t the result of increased policing, construction, or self-driving cars, but rather from an innovative pilot program that placed speed cameras along the boulevard. Tickets are automatically issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority when the system detects a car traveling more than 11 m.p.h. above the posted speed limit, and the results are overwhelmingly clear. Crashes were down 30% compared to the city average in just the first seven months of the program, and there were 50% fewer traffic deaths. 

Drivers respond by lowering their speeds, and 93% fewer speeding tickets were issued this year compared to the first year of the program. This is great news for everyone who lives and walks along Roosevelt Boulevard. It also demonstrates the point of the successful program is not to generate revenue from tickets but to eliminate tickets entirely through drivers obeying speed limits.

Despite its clear success, the law authorizing the Roosevelt Boulevard speed cameras is set to expire at the end of 2023. 

The coalition met with 30 members of the state house and senate to show their support for HB1284, a bill that would make the program permanent, and allow it to expand to other dangerous streets in Philadelphia. WMAN Traffic Calming Committee Chair Anne Dicker said that Mt. Airy residents have asked repeatedly for speed cameras on Lincoln Drive. 

The group also lobbied for HB 902 & HB 1307 (to let counties raise funds for SEPTA), HB 1283 (allowing parking-protected bike lanes), and SB 730 (sending the description of vehicles used in a hit and run to mechanics). More information on the bills and on other opportunities for action can be found on the Bicycle Coalition’s website, and with WMAN’s Traffic Calming Committee (

Sam Lifson-Neubardt

WMAN Traffic Calming Committee Member