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Local Pa. Cops May Finally Get Radar

State lawmakers set to vote on speed enforcement measure Sunday.

Road configurations in smaller Pennsylvania towns are dense and don’t always allow for effective speed enforcement systems. But local officers are limited. Unlike every other state in the country, Pennsylvania does not permit municipal police to use radar. For several decades, the use of radar has been limited to state troopers.

Proposed laws to bring local police, well, up to speed have been unsuccessful for years.

But that could change on Sunday.

Rep. Steven Santarsiero, D-Bucks, and Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks, have led a bipartisan move to pass HB 1475, which would permit local police to use radar.

On Friday, Santarsiero said he’s never understood why anyone would oppose such a measure.

“It would have a considerable impact on...traffic safety in our towns and cities,” he said.

Under the bill, “Electronic devices such as radio-microwave devices [commonly referred to as electronic speed meters or RADAR] or infrared laser light devices [commonly referred to as LIDAR] may be used...upon completion of a training course approved by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission, by full-time police officers employed by the full-service police department of a political subdivision or regional police department...”

Santarsiero said he filed the bill as an amendment to a distracted driving bill scheduled for second consideration, which could allow for a vote on HB 1475 on Sunday.

“At the very least I think it will move it forward as an issue,” he said. “This deals with the same topic...traffic safety.”

voice of reason June 26, 2011 at 05:26 PM
Ed Schmidt, even at 25 MPH, the police can not ticket anyone until they are going 10 mph over the speed limit. And chances are the police will not be enforcing neighborhoods of 25 MPH speed limits, and in the end it is your neighbors speeding
Mr.Bill June 27, 2011 at 01:44 PM
These days with state funding cut so drastically, every town is looking for ways to increase revenue without raising taxes. There are not many options to accomplish this. In comes radar for use by these cash strapped locals. Sure, it sounds great. Only 'guilty' people are fined. The reality is it will be abused and used as a revenue generator just as it is across the river in New Jersey by both affluent and cash strapped towns. I lived in NJ 30 years and witnessed it firsthand. If the police write a number of tickets in a residential neighborhood, those residents will raise a stink with the local government over being targeted in their neighborhood and that will end that. The result is radar will be setup in a few select areas where the hunting is good, i.e. speed limit change on secondary roads and the bottom of long grades. Police prefer to catch someone passing through than a resident. You will very rarely see it used in residential areas. Not even in New Jersey.
Salisbury Resident June 27, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Agreed Malone. In the end...it is always the finger pointing at someone else. Radar solves everything - sarcasm at its best.
Howard R.Bachman,Jr. June 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM
ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE MONEY FOR LOCAL POLICE DEPT. JUST LIKE BILL SMYTH SAID !!!!!
valley slacker July 01, 2011 at 02:06 PM
The average traffic ticket totals well over $100. Of that, the municipality receives on average just over $12. Hardly a windfall for the community. In fact, more likely a loss for the municipality if the ticket is contested and an officer must appear in court. With a few exceptions, such as commercial vehicles, traffic enforcement as a method for municipalities to raise revenue is an absolute fallacy.

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