Monday, June 20, 2011

A Response from Senator Jay Costa, Jr, 43rd District

Dear Ms. Barrett:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for legislation that would amend the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code to allow local police departments to employ radar guns as a way to monitor speeding on our roads. Under current law, only the Pennsylvania State Police may employ radar guns. I appreciate your interest in this legislation, and I understand your support for the use of this device by local law enforcement.

As you may be aware, the General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would make this change. Senate Bill 526 is currently under the consideration of the Senate Transportation Committee, while House Bill 1041 is before the House Transportation Committee. These bills would make substantial changes to the way in which our speed limits are enforced, and it is important that we carefully consider the impact of these changes. If legislation on this issue should come before me, I will take your support and the local needs that you mentioned into consideration.

Once again, thank you for contacting me about this matter. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you in any way.

Sincerely yours,
Senator Jay Costa, Jr.
43rd District

Sample Letter to Your State Elected Leaders:

Honorable Representative _____________________:
Allowing local police to use radar will make our communities safer. Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that does not allow local police departments to use radar for the purpose of speed enforcement.

In 2009 Pennsylvania suffered 32,669 speed-related car crashes, 538 of them fatal. According to the PennDOT Crash Facts & Statistics Report, these crash and fatality rates are higher than PAʼs rates of alcohol, careless, and distracted driver accidents combined.

HB 1041 and SB 526, both introduced this session, are similar bills that would allow
accredited local police departments to use radar in speed enforcement.
Every year hundreds of motorists are killed in speeding-related accidents. Radar is a proven, effective law enforcement tool to stop drivers jeopardizing othersʼ safety by disobeying speed limits. By keeping these tools out of the hands of local police departments, law enforcement offices are limited in the tools that they have available to promote safe streets.

HB 1041 and SB 526 will make our communities safer by empowering local police departments to use a tool the Pennsylvania State Police have been using effectively since 1961. These bills will improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and all others interacting with roadways patrolled by local police enforcement agencies.


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