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Senate votes to let local police use radar to catch speeders

Published June 26. 2019 09:09AM

HARRISBURG (AP) — A proposal to allow local police to use radar to catch speeding motorists is on its way to the state House after nearly unanimous approval in the Senate.

Senators voted 49 to 1 on Tuesday for a bill that local departments have long sought.

The legislation sponsored by Sen. Mario Scavello of Monroe County.

“All states but Pennsylvania permit their local police to use radar for monitoring traffic speed. In Pennsylvania, only the State Police are currently authorized to use radar,” said Scavello. “It makes no sense that the state allows municipalities to use red light cameras to curtail unsafe driving, but does not allow the use of this World War II era technology.”

Scavello noted speed as a factor in a recent pedestrian fatality in Mount Pocono, Monroe County, at a heavily congested intersection where high speed has contributed to a history of crashes. “The only way the local police can enforce and enforce properly is with radar,” he said.

Current Pennsylvania law lets only state police use radar, while local police must use other methods to figure out how fast people are driving.

A similar measure passed the Senate during the last session but died in the House.

If the proposal is enacted, local governments would have to post signs warning motorists that they are using radar.

This is just another way for Tom Wolfe to dig into our pockets. Look how the state police act. They buy gray colored cars so they can sneak around & hide & blend in better. See it has nothing to do with safety people!!! If it did they would purchase Penn DOT yellow or orange cars so they could be seen to promote safety. These cops especially the town cops are revenuers period. Just try to speed thru Beaver Meadows sometime. 5 MPH over will get u a tickets. How about 209 in Franklin Township??? The road is a 4 lane paved like an airport & 45 MPH what a joke. Now we want to give every Tom Dick & Harry a radar gun.
Simple solution MAGAtard! Obey the LAW! Tom Wolfe digging into our pockets? That is the most retarded statement I've read this week! If the driver was Mexican, you'd hang him just for owning a car. Laws aren't for white republicans? That is what you're saying? Right? BTW, The Winchester 88 was piece of U.S. trash. Good Handle for you.
T2C. Gov Wolf is a Democrat. MAGA is President Trump’s slogan. You are a hateful low intellect bully. BTW an Olds 88 is a pretty cool classic car. Also, a Winchester 88 is a great American rifle. You are an imbecile on full display. Your elevator doesn’t reach the top floor. Keep it up! If you wish to discuss “handles”, as you say, collusion was a hoax that has been dismissed. Collusion is a fraud like you. Perfect!
What? Yes Wolf is a Democrat! You got one right! Here's a Scooby snack!!
Is there a point to your Cyber Punkery?
Keep putting your ignorant mental melt downs out there! As, if we needed a reminder the MAGAtards think they have something intelligent to say! You're showing the world just how stupid and violent you are, keep it up Jethro!
T2C it is time for a mental wellness check up for you. Contact your health provider. It is ok to use the same clinic you always use. You are a danger to yourself and your community. America is great! You live in the greatest country in the world. The Trump rally had 100k people that had something intelligent to say last week in FL. Everyone there was at least as smart as you. Everyone there was Patriotic and non-violent. Republicans even love punks like you...when you behave. Now, where is my Scooby snack.
This is the long version. Please read to the end. Thank you.

The general population have been misinformed about RADAR and "speeding."
The Legislature is considering anti-safety and anti-driver legislation, part of the enforcement-for-profit-not-safety racket that has infected Harrisburg: giving RADAR to municipal police.

RADAR should be banned in Pennsylvania and not extended to municipal police. There is no epidemic crisis of speeding, only an epidemic crisis of highway engineering malpractice allowing well meaning but misinformed politicians to seek more and more money from safe drivers.

RADAR is not about highway safety, RADAR is about raising revenue. RADAR guns are notoriously inaccurate, for instance, clocking trees at 90 MPH, and being unable to distinguish between cars. Claiming that the ticket money doesn’t go to the government is a red herring: 80% of ticket money will go to the state – a big incentive to arm police with RADAR guns. And saying that some of the ticket money goes to “good causes” in order to build support for RADAR is plain deception. For the attorneys reading this, RADAR fails the Daubert Test concerning the admissibility of evidence in court.

Every police traffic report requires three entries for “cause of accident,” and “excessive speed” is almost always listed as one of the three whether or not the driver was actually speeding: it’s a throw-away entry. This gives NHTSA and the “safety” lobby carte blanche, by manipulating their “statistics,” to raise the roof about all those maniacs slaughtering people on the highways, which is not true.

Not to mention that PennDOT declared , in 2016, that Pennsylvania’s roads are the safest they have ever been.
And according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS ) maintained by NHTSA/FHWA, the 2017 fatality rate for PA was 1.12 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The national average was 1.16 for 2017. PA is doing OK --- better than average --- in that respect. Are drivers all of a sudden running amok? I don’t think so.

Speed is a cause of accidents 5% of the time, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) [DOT HS 811 059 National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey]. The Florida Department of Transportation puts it at 2%. Speed as a cause of accidents when traffic is free flowing is a rare event, yet this is when the majority of citations are written. Speed traps are staged where it is safe to drive faster, making it easy to write tickets.

Yet, 50 years of government propaganda and misinformation about highway safety makes it easy for the “safety” lobby to declare that unless we give local police RADAR guns, everybody's going to die! And far too many otherwise reasonable people agree, so that in the end, the special interests who profit from RADAR, the RADAR manufacturers, auto insurers, governments, the police, and the courts, get their go-ahead to unfairly tax (ticket) drivers.
Posted speed limits are at the bottom of all of this. What is the safest speed* and who decides? An engineering concept known as the 85th Percentile Speed* very simply says that 85 out of 100 motor vehicles will travel at or below a speed which is reasonable and prudent. It is the safest speed* with the most compliance. But posting limits at the 85th Percentile Speed* makes the job of the police, that is, to collect taxes for the government, very difficult indeed since 85% of drivers are not speeding.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) found that 90% of the time speed limits in Pennsylvania are posted 8 to 16 miles per hour below the safest speed*. The politicians’ response to complaints from uninformed and misled constituents about "speeders" is to push for arming all police state-wide with RADAR guns, while keeping posted limits too low and withholding NHTSA, FHwA and other statistics showing that there is no speeding crisis.

Hunting down drivers with RADAR guns will not improve highway safety, and the unfair and unnecessary enforcement of too-low limits will foster contempt for law enforcement. Money is the one and only reason for arming municipal police with RADAR guns.

Until speed limits are set at the safest speed* using proper, time-tested highway engineering, as called for in Title 75, highway safety will not be improved. RADAR guns will only raise money, they will not improve highway safety.

Don’t give RADAR guns to municipal police. RADAR guns will only raise money, they will not add to safety.

Senate Bill 607 needs to be voted down by the House or we will get speed traps everywhere. Thank you.

Tom McCarey Member, National Motorists Association

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