PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The city saw a steep jump in red light camera violations in the last year, according to the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s annual report. And the PPA has the green light to install cameras at four more intersections this year.
The PPA’s red light cameras cranked out 25% more tickets in the fiscal year that ended June 30, compared to the year before. Deputy Executive Director Corinne O'Connor says there are two reasons: More people are driving now than during the pandemic; and the PPA added cameras to two intersections last year.
"You didn't see as much traffic on the streets,” O'Connor said. “Now that we're back to work, the majority of people are going back to the office, you're seeing that uptick in violations again."
To the 33 intersections already on its list, the PPA added cameras last year to intersections at 31st and Spring Garden streets and at 52nd Street and Lancaster Avenue.
Cameras at those 35 intersections crank out $100 tickets whenever drivers run red lights. O’Connor says that revenue goes to the state of Pennsylvania to fund transportation safety programs. But it is not a money grab, she said.
"Anytime you see that change in behavior, you're making the road safer."
Since cameras were first installed in 2005, some locations have seen a drastic reduction in drivers running red lights, said O'Connor.
"If you take the intersections that were the originators, such as Red Lion and the Boulevard, it's still like a 94% decrease from the beginning of what was happening, to what is happening today,” O'Connor said.
Coming next, she said, four new cameras have been approved — for Front Street and Hunting Park Avenue; 20th Street and JFK Boulevard; Kelly Drive and Eakins Oval, near the “Rocky” statue; and 58th Street and Baltimore Avenue.
Requests for about 50 more camera locations are awaiting approval, she added.