SANATOGA PA – Putting radar guns into the hands of Lower Pottsgrove police – or any authorized municipal law enforcers in Pennsylvania – to help them catch speeding drivers is a good idea, the township Board of Commissioners believes.
Board members last week (July 7, 2014) voted unanimously to send a letter to state legislators, urging their support of House Bill 38 and Senate Bill 1428. If passed, they would allow local police officers to use the devices as another tool to ensure safety on area highways. Since 1961, only Pennsylvania troopers have been authorized to use radar guns.
The legislation in the Senate is being sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty, who is among those representing Lower Pottsgrove at the Capitol. Township Police Chief Michael Foltz told board members the state Police Chiefs’ Association also is promoting the law.
During a recent committee hearing, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan testified that radar is the most effective and accurate speed-control device available. The Commonwealth is the only one of 50 states that denies local police the opportunity to use it.
Winning support has been an uphill battle, Legislature observers report. Similar bills have been proposed several times and never passed, primarily because some lawmakers think police forces would use the equipment to issue tickets and increase local revenue. The difference between this year’s bill and previous versions is more widespread support in both chambers.
Commissioners’ President Bruce Foltz advocated sending the letter to ensure elected officials know of the board’s backing for the measure. Manager Ed Wagner said he’d mail it out quickly.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ July 7 meeting):
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