Like it or not, Philly’s red light cameras are probably here to stay

One of Philly's red light cameras.
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

There is speculation over whether Philadelphia’s red light camera program will get the green light from the state legislature when the seven-year initiative expires this summer, but an aide for a powerful Republican state senator said that he is confident the Senate and House will reach an agreement.

The program currently expires on June 30 unless additional laws are passed to keep it in place.

“I believe that will happen,” said Erik Arneson, spokesman for Sen. Dominic Pileggi. “I think it’s important to note that a.) we are three and a half months away from this being a real problem and b.) I’m confident that there will be an agreement to move legislation through the General Assembly.”

Reports surfaced today that the Senate, which voted to extend the red light program by six months at the end of last year, would only make the extension permanent if the state House of Representatives agreed to pass a pending bill expanding the program to approximately 15 other cities.

“It is true that many members of the General Assembly are interested in expanding the program to additional cities and I think that a lot of those folks, from their perspective – and rightly so – are much more concerned about whether or not they’re able to expand the program into some additional cities across the state in the areas they represent, rather than having a narrow focus on the situation in Philadelphia,” Arneson said.

Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House majority leader Mike Turzai, told KYWNewsradio that the House would be “very reluctant” to extend the program without expanding it to other cities. He did not return calls for comment.

But Arneson said that he didn’t foresee the collapse of the program in Philadelphia. “It could come to that, but I don’t think it will. I believe we will have an agreement worked out in advance of June 30th,” he said.

By the numbers

5,402

Total citations given at the most ticketed intersection in the city between Jan. and March 2011: Broad Street and South Penn Square, followed by Aramingo and Castor avenues and Levick Street and the Roosevelt Boulevard.

$1,197,900

Fines collected between Jan. and March 2011 at those three intersections.

$13,728,479

Total revenue collected by the red light program between April 2010 and March 2011.

21

Intersections in the program as of August 2011. A total of 96 cameras are set up at those intersections to catch red runners.


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