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Hosts: Scott LaMar and Mary Wilson

Smart Talk: Local police allowed to use radar; Hands on driving ed for young people

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Apr 21, 2014 2:59 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, April 22, 2014:

Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington demonstrates a radar gun  300 x 170.jpg

Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington demonstrates a radar gun/York Daily Record photo

Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that doesn’t allow local municipal police officers to use radar to enforce speed limits.  Under current law, only state police troopers can use radar.

The law is so old that few people can say for sure how it came to be.

Legislation has been proposed in both the Senate and House to allow full-time police officers working for full-service municipal or regional departments to use radar as a way to calculate driving speed and enforce driving laws.

Joining us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to discuss the proposed legislation are Tom King, President of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association and Jim Nowalk, President of the Pennsylvania Mayors’ Association.

Tom King.jpg

Chief Tom King

Also on Tuesday’s program, we’ll be discussing a national program, the Tire Rack Street Survival Driving Experience that provides young drivers the opportunity to see first-hand, the intense forces encountered while driving a car but under very controlled conditions.

In 2012, there were 1,310 fatalities on Pennsylvania roadways, and nationally, the number one killer of driver’s ages 16-19 is a car crash, accounting for more than 5,000 deaths.

A Street Survival Driving Experience is scheduled for June 28th in Mechanisburg.  Two people instrumental in the program, Ken Trayer and Ron Turo appear on Smart Talk to talk about it and the benefits for teenage drivers and their families.

To learn more or to sign up for the June 28th class go here.

Street Survival.jpg

Ron Turo & Ken Trayer

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Comments: 11

  • Rob A. img 2014-04-22 07:59

    I would support this measure more if I hadn't been pulled over by a Steelton Police Officer that couldn't tell the difference between a voided Inspection sticker and one that was peeling of the window.

    If they can't properly identify the difference a voided and peeling sticker, how are we suppose to beleive they'll be able to properly operate a radar system.

    • Rob A. img 2014-04-22 08:32

      To clarify a little, it's about training...

      • Rob A. img 2014-04-22 08:39

        the officer was apparently not trained to tell the difference, are they going to skimp on radar training?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-04-22 08:08

    Tom in Carlisle emails:

    Greetings,
    For all the critics against allowing local police radar access, regardless of how it is timed, the bottom line is still this: If you’re not speeding, it’s not a trap.

  • TrinaB img 2014-04-22 08:26

    I agree with proper training I think all municipalities should be allowed to use radar. I also feel that the cost of a speeding fine is not a deterrent. Speeding and other traffic fines should range from a minimum of $500 to $1000 plus more points accessed depending on speed. A $500 fine is a much bigger deterrent than a $150 one.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-04-22 08:28

    Mike emails:
    In my 50 years of driving within a 30 mile radius of Harrisburg, I can point to 2 municipal and 1 regional police force that I feel certain would abused the functionality.
    Additionally, irrespective of what your guests may claim, my experience points to revenue raising from some of the stings I routinely see in our area.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-04-22 08:39

    Eugene emails:

    Very interesting to hear a caller say that the police should use their time to deal with "real crime." Speeding IS a real crime with serious consequences as your guests have already pointed out. This is a good program in which to combat the prevalent idea that speeding is OK and dealing with the law is some kind of "game" of catch me if you can.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-04-22 08:51

    Marty emails:

    My dad made a particular effort when I learned to drive to teach me how to properly handle a vehicle when the right wheels go off the road and that has probably saved my life in several instances over the years...

  • Carlos img 2014-04-22 08:54

    Where can we get more information about the Street Survival Driving Experience program?

  • TrinaB img 2014-04-22 09:16

    I agree with proper training I think all municipalities should be allowed to use radar. I also feel that the cost of a speeding fine is not a deterrent. Speeding and other traffic fines should range from a minimum of $500 to $1000 plus more points accessed depending on speed. A $500 fine is a much bigger deterrent than a $150 one.

  • epmark img 2014-04-23 04:10

    I find it both sad and humorous (and a symptom of how PA does business) that PA is the last state to not deploy local radar speed enforcement.

    PennDOT (which oddly has the state police under its jurisdiction) rules! The quality of life in local municipalities doesn't matter, nor does the inefficient deployment and use of police (state and local).

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