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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2017 09:44 AM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. and Sen. Thomas J. McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: Radar/LIDAR for Local Law Enforcement
In the near future, we will be re-introducing legislation – SB 559 of the 2015-16 Session – to permit full-time municipal police officers employed by full-service police departments or regional police departments to use radar or LIDAR for speed enforcement. These electronic speed devices will only be permitted for use by trained officers in counties of the first class, second class, second class A or third class.

Examples of provisions that will be included in this legislation are as follows. Each political subdivision that elects to use radar or LIDAR speed meters shall report the municipal revenue generated from speed enforcement citations annually to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). In the event the municipal share of revenue generated from speed enforcement citations exceeds 5% of the total municipal budget or 5% of the regional police department budget, such revenue must be remitted to PSP for traffic safety purposes. Political subdivisions must also erect official warning signs within 500 feet of a municipal border indicating that speed metering devices are being used.

Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that does not provide our local law enforcement with this critical speed-enforcement technology. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were 302 speed-related deaths in 2015 where speed was considered the prime contributing factor in the crash. Instead of promoting efficiency and enhanced reliability with speed enforcement technology, our local law enforcement is succumbed to inferior, manual processes to enforce speed limits within our communities.

Furthermore, the goal of this legislation is to improve highway safety and not to generate revenue despite subjective notions in the past. For example, Title 75 sets the minimum fine for violating the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit at $35, which equates to approximately $17.50 per ticket for a municipality. The personnel costs at the local level to cover the time to patrol speeders, to complete the paperwork, to attend hearings (if the ticket is challenged), etc., is not covered by these violations, which debunks the theory on generating revenue.


Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to improve highway safety and to equip our local law enforcement with modern speed-enforcement technology.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Nolan Ritchie, Senator Rafferty's Office, at nritchie@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB279