Evaluating the effectiveness of urban speed cameras on traffic safety in a period of dramatic change

Speed cameras were installed along segments of Roosevelt Boulevard in June 2020. Two years earlier, the Pennsylvania legislature had approved the camera installation in light of high fatality rates and requests from City officials. In the previous 5 years, the Boulevard had accounted for 14% of the City of Philadelphia’s total traffic fatalities. The twelve-lane at grade highway frequently makes lists of the most dangerous intersections and roadways in the country, a particularly egregious statistics since Philadelphia has only about half the national traffic fatality rate. Just three months earlier, Covid-19-related shutdowns dramatically influenced the geography of travel and traffic safety. Collision rates and traffic fatalities skyrocketed throughout the city, likely a result of a combination of decreased congestion, increased drunk driving, and decreased traffic enforcement in the wake of protests against the murder of George Floyd and for police reform. This project examines the effectiveness of the Roosevelt Boulevard using a differences-in-differences approach with a Bayesian Poisson and Negative Binomial models. Selection of control segments will be of utmost importance given the dramatic changes in crashes and fatalities over the period of study. Findings will help inform whether to continue the Boulevard speed camera program, increase the use of speed cameras throughout the state, and potentially liberalize state laws that prevent municipalities from deploying automated speed enforcement without state legislation. Partners include the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $82329
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Safety21 National UTC for Promoting Safety
    Pittsburgh, PA  United States  15213

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Center Program
  • Managing Organizations:

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Safety21 National UTC for Promoting Safety
    Pittsburgh, PA  United States  15213
  • Project Managers:

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Pennsylvania

  • Principal Investigators:

    Guerra, Erick

  • Start Date: 20230701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01900233
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety21
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3552344811
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 20 2023 7:38PM