REALITY CHECK: NOT ALL SPEED CAMERAS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Written by Charles Ellison on January 17, 2020
The City installed speed cameras along a deadly stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard this week. Is it Black and Brown Philadelphians, WURD’s afternoon host wonders, who will pay for them?
The Philadelphia Parking Authority’s decision to test speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard is in many ways a sensible thing to do. After all, the notoriously deadly road has long been treated as a race track by careless motorists who’ve made it Pennsylvania’s most dangerous roadway. And cameras are among the quick go-to solutions for immediate relief.
There’s some data showing they work: University of Oxford researchers studied similarly hectic British roadways in 2019 and found that speed cameras reduced collisions by 15 percent.
Maryland’s SafeZone speed-camera program protecting vulnerable road workers caused vehicles to slow down by 90 percent.
And when easy-fix wonder technology like a speed camera is working that effectively, why complain? If you’re not driving like Speed Racer along Route 1 then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
The problem is not the technology itself (even though we do grow increasingly wary of even more tracking devices, surveillance cameras and AI-enhanced doorbells monitoring every movement). The problem is who is disproportionately affected.