Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack has proposed legislation to install speed cameras in Northeast Philadelphia along the downright treacherous Roosevelt Boulevard. The idea is simple: You speed, a camera detects your infraction, and you get a ticket in the mail. And now it sounds like influential State Representative Brian Sims may be throwing his support behind Stack’s plan.
“I just met with an advocate for Senator Mike Stack’s recently proposed legislation to place speed-enforcement cameras along Roosevelt Blvd.,” wrote Sims on Facebook last week. “I’ve had experience with these cameras in the D.C. region and I’ve seen data that they can cut accidents down by as much as 25-40%. On the Boulevard that would literally mean saving lives.”
Red-light cameras have been a reality on the Roosevelt Boulevard for a decade now, and Stack's plan would add speed cameras to those. According to PennDOT, 17 pedestrians were killed by drivers on the dangerous road from 2008 to 2012.
Speed cameras are in use in just 14 states plus Washington D.C., according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. If Stack's plan is adopted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will become the first state in the tri-state area to deploy the cameras.
Supporters say that the cameras make roads safer, with one study indicating that 815 lives would have been saved between 2004 and 2008 if the cameras had been in use in all major cities.
Meanwhile, opponents argue that the cameras are inaccurate (Baltimore's speed cameras were recently stopped after an audit showed a fail rate of over 10 percent) and that speed cameras violate your civil rights. It's not difficult to see the slippery slope theory at work here.
What do you think?
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