New Pennsylvania law covers use of speed ticket cameras

December 15, 2023

Keith Goble


The use of automated speed ticket cameras will continue in the state of Pennsylvania.

House and Senate lawmakers acted Wednesday to approve a bill authorizing the continued use of an automated ticket enforcement program in the city of Philadelphia. On Thursday, Dec. 14, Gov. Josh Shapiro signed into law the legislation that includes permanent use of speed ticket cameras in highway work zones around the state.

Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association argue the focus on the revenue-generating devices ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic: keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible.

Work zones

The new law extends authorization of speed ticket cameras in active work zones.

The state’s ticket camera program issues citations for exceeding the posted speed by at least 11 mph in active work zones. First-time offenders receive a written warning. Repeat offenders are fined $75. Subsequent offenses cost $150.

The program, which had a Feb. 16, 2024, sunset date, is now permanent.

Rep. Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna, has said the program is critically important. He told the House Transportation Committee that state DOT data shows there is a 15-50% reduction in work zone crashes where speed ticket cameras are present.

Previously HB1284, the new law also adds a requirement that warning signs are to be the “largest size available” and be placed 1,000 feet ahead of the work zone. Warning signings also must be placed in the middle of active work zones.

Vehicle owners who receive mailed tickets can dispute violations if they were not behind the wheel at the time of the citation. Affected owners are not required to disclose who was driving at the time.

Fine revenue is divvied between the Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT/Turnpike Commission and the state’s Motor License Fund.

A portion of the fine revenue routed to the State Police is used for “increased trooper presence in work zones.”

Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Boulevard

Another provision in the new law covers speed ticket cameras posted along U.S. 1, or Roosevelt Boulevard, in Philadelphia.

In place since the summer of 2020, the program doles out tickets to travelers exceeding the 40-mph and 45-mph posted speed limits by at least 11 mph.

Fines range from $100 to $150, depending on how fast violators are detected traveling by speed radar.

The speed camera program had a Dec. 18 sunset date. The new law allows the program to continue.

Advocates have called the program successful, pointing to a Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee report from December 2022 that found crashes on Roosevelt Boulevard declined by 46% over three years. The figure compares to an overall citywide decline of 6%.

Additionally, HB1284 authorizes speed ticket cameras to be installed on up to five more “dangerous corridors” in the state’s largest city.

The lone requirement for adding speed cameras at certain locations will be approval by city ordinance and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

A separate provision authorizes speed cameras to be placed in Philadelphia school zones.

Criticism of program

Opponents have said there is a better way to address concerns about speeding along Roosevelt Boulevard.

John Williamson of the National Motorists Association previously told the House Transportation Committee the 40-mph speed limit on Roosevelt Boulevard is “unrealistically low based on the design of the roadway.”

He said that “if the speed limit were set more realistically or the roadway designed to be self-enforcing at lower speeds,” many violations would cease. LL

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