Radar gun bills languish in Legislature

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 18, 2014 2:20 PM

Photo by Wikicommons user Loadmaster

(Harrisburg) -- State lawmakers are renewing their push to get radar guns into the hands of local police officers.

Democrat state Senator John Yudichak of Luzerne County says if local officers in every other state can manage to use radar guns, Pennsylvania shouldn't be any different.

Current law only allows State Police troopers to use radar to catch speeders.

Critics of a change have come from both parties.. the most common fear is that officer will abuse the technology.

But Yudichak disputes that idea.

"That's simply not true. There's enough regulations within the law being proposed that they would not be able to use it simply as a revenue generation tool. This is a tool to keep families safe, keep Pennsylvania safe on our highways."

At least 6 bills propose changes to radar regulations. Yet none of those measures offer specific restrictions meant to discourage police departments from using speed traps to generate revenue.

Yudichak and others that if police can be trusted with weapons, they can be trusted with radar guns.

"This allows a piece of technology that has been used for decades within our state police department, and used by local departments across the country, allows our local departments here in Pennsylvania to use that technology to save lives."

Local police departments in other states are allowed to use radar to catch speeders, but under current Pennsylvania law, they are prohibited.

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Comments: 3

  • Bill Adams img 2014-08-18 17:52

    Why make it easier for cash-strapped municipalities to separate taxpayers from their money. And, from their property. Can you imagine your 18 year old son being stopped after he'd just cashed his paycheck? Could lose it and his car. Too many police are encouraged to abuse these systems. No good reason to allow this.

  • Scott Beck img 2014-08-19 22:18

    "Pa is the only state that doesn't allow local police to have Radar guns"...what is wrong with that? Can't we have our own laws, or do they have to conform to every other state?

    In other states car insurance companies have been known to give grants to buy Radar systems to "cash-strapped" municipalities. Why...well, one speeding ticket of 7mph over the limit can result in as much as a 23% increase in premiums. Follow the money....

  • James Walker img 2014-08-23 08:47

    If local police are allowed to use the money grab radar guns, they will do just that with them - grab a lot of your money. Radar guns are used ONLY where the posted speed limits are set artificially low and less-safely with limits far below the safest 85th percentile speeds of free flowing traffic under good conditions. Example, if 85% of the drivers are at or below 37 mph, the limit is set at 35 IF SAFETY IS THE GOAL FOR THE LIMIT. Local politicians set the limit at 25 to create lucrative speed traps and these are the ONLY types of places where you would find local police with money grab radar guns ready to grab a lot of your money.

    Call your state Representatives and Senators to insist that local police NOT be given radar guns under any circumstances whatsoever.

    James C. Walker, Life Member - National Motorists Association

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