Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Radar Absurdity Only in Pennsylvania Are Local Police Not Trusted

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Radar Absurdity Only in Pennsylvania Are Local Police Not Trusted

Article excerpt

Pennsylvania has its oddities and one of the strangest is that police in municipal departments are trusted to have firearms but not radar guns. It's been this way since the Legislature first allowed state police to use radar to ticket motorists in 1961.

The state is alone among all others in insisting that municipal police catch speeding motorists by using other, more inconvenient means, such as VASCAR, which measures a moving vehicle's speed over a certain distance.

It would be more efficient and a better deterrent - state police with radar guns do get motorists' attention - if municipal officers could use radar. But for years the Legislature has resisted the idea in deference to constituents who fear local police departments would use radar just to write tickets and increase revenue.

This absurdity needs to end. Last week the Senate Transportation Committee heard the reasons why local police should be allowed to use radar. "Understand one thing," state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said at a hearing. …

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