When lawmakers return from their summer recess in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, State Senator Mike Stack plans to introduce legislation to install “photo speed enforcement” cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard. On July 16, Samara Banks and her three children were struck down and killed by Khusen Akhmedov while he was drag racing with another vehicle near the intersection of 2nd Street. “We’re not engaging in hyperbole when we say it’s life or death,” Stack says. “There have been catastrophic, horrible fatalities that were the result of people driving at dangerous rates of speed. The cameras are one way to bring a little sanity to the Boulevard.”
Spokesperson for the mayor’s office, Mark McDonald said the Nutter administration is “supportive” of Stack’s efforts. Stack said he would also like to see a bigger police presence on the Boulevard. He plans to visit other cities and meet with officials that use the radar cameras.
Philadelphia currently has 96 red-light cameras at 21 intersections throughout the city. These cameras have brought in $10 million in revenue and have led to 131,800 citations from April 2011 to March 2012 according to the Philadelphia Parking Authority. The Streets Department is also investigating the area where the Banks family was killed to determine if a signalized pedestrian crossing nearby would make it safer.
Washington, D.C. is one city that has benefited from a wider speed-camera system since 2004. In the decade-long implementation of the system, fatal traffic accidents fell to 19 in 2012 from 45 in 2004. The District of Columbia’s police department has 105 speed cameras that generate $55 million a year from tickets mailed to motorists.
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