Written By: Ali Audi | July 9, 2014 | No Comments
The Legislation in Question
According to the PA General Assembly, PA House Bill 1297 will serve as an amendment to Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. If passed, this act will allow local, regional, and municipal police officers to use electronic speed-measuring devices (i.e. radar) to enforce speed restrictions throughout the state. PA Representatives who have lent their support for the bill have cited the fact that Pennsylvania is the only U.S. state that prohibits its local police forces from utilizing radar speed detection.
The Potential Effects
Reactions to this bill are currently mixed, though the law has recently received more support from various local governments. Proponents view the bill as a greater measure of safety on PA highways, which have some of the country’s highest incidents of speed-related fatalities. Many also argue that the current system in place for monitoring speeding violations (known as Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder or VASCAR) is limited and less-accurate than the electronic detectors utilized by PA State Police.
Those who oppose of the new traffic regulation worry that the use of radar and subsequent fines issued to motorists may be abused and used as an additional source of revenue. According to the bill’s supporters, it is constructed so as to allow municipal police departments to keep only 50% of the fines issued using the devices.
The Bill’s Next Steps
With the bill’s increasing level of support, legislators are confident that the bill may be passed when the House returns from its Summer break. If the bill does not pass, then it will likely be revised and reintroduced at a later date. Regardless of the decision, however, legislators and PA police continue to stress that safety is most important when traveling in a motor vehicle.