Pittsburgh Publish-Gazette Editorial: Let Native Police Use Radar Weapons for Velocity Enforcement Editorials
In an age of technological wonder, Pennsylvania stands alone as the modern Luddite when it comes to how local law enforcement agencies should enforce speed limits.
It is the only state in the nation that prohibits city police from using radar to monitor speed. And it’s not like radar guns are a new, untested technology. The state police have been using radar weapons since the 1960s. So there has been more than 50 years of evidence of its reliability and effectiveness.
Opponents of its use claim that the local police force uses the devices as a means of increasing municipal revenue. You have successfully campaigned against the spread to the city police force. As a result, the local police force has been reduced to using archaic tools to enforce speed limits, such as the speed limit. B. painted lines on a section of road, a stopwatch and calculations.
In Pennsylvania, we can use a radar gun to measure the speed of a thrown playing field in a baseball park, but city police can’t use it to enforce the speed limit in a neighborhood. What sense does that make?
The wind can change. The State House Transportation Committee recently passed a bill by 25 votes to 0 to allow city police to use radar.
The proposal contains several conditions to allay opponents’ concerns, most notably the argument that radar would be used by municipalities as a moneymaker. The bill would limit the total revenue from accelerating fines to an amount that does not exceed 10 percent of a municipality’s annual budget. Any surplus would be passed on to the state vehicle registration fund to be used for road and bridge improvements as well as state police operations.
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The municipality would have to pass an ordinance authorizing their use and put up signs on the streets leading into the municipality to alert motorists to the use of radar.
It would also mandate that in areas where the speed limit is less than 55 mph, quotes could only be issued to vehicles that exceeded the limit by at least 10 mph. This is a nod to opponents of radar utility who are concerned about a barrage of quotes for vehicles that exceed the limit by the slightest degree.
The entire House should follow the overwhelming support of the Transportation Committee for the bill and approve it for the Senate to follow suit. A similar measure was approved there in 2019 with 49 to 1 votes.
Radars have been available for half a century. It’s been a long time since Pennsylvania joined the rest of the country in providing the city police with the technology they need for accurate speed surveillance. This benefits both the transport audience and the communities trying to ensure safe roads.
– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette