Dear Pennsylvania NMA Members,
Action Needed Today:
The first bill will change the state’s current stop-arm camera law, and the second is to allow municipal police radar.
While you are at it, let your elected representatives know that you want all forms of automated traffic enforcement that PA currently allows to be repealed. This includes red-light cameras, speed cameras, and stop-arm cameras. A short explanation is below.
HB 364 would make the school bus stop-arm camera law much worse. It would shift the violation into a civil infraction, and making it almost impossible to fight a ticket. It would also reward the entities that play a role in issuing tickets by allowing the camera vendor to be compensated in any manner, not just for services rendered. We do not want payments made based on ticket volume. The law is vague and is being rammed through quickly.
If passed, SB 607 would allow local police. This bill has been on the House calendar for several cycles, with no action, but can be voted on at any time. Something will happen soon on this most likely.
June is the time when much anti-driver activity always occurs before the summer recess. Both bills need to bounce around for concurrence procedures, so please contact everyone. Sufficient time is also not usually provided before votes occur.
Recently, Philadelphia seemed to have been acting on its own rather than seeking state legislative approval to do things. SEPTA recently put out a PDF file called “Expression of Interest, Bus Camera Enforcement System.” This is for transit buses to issue automated tickets to cars that enter a bus lane. This was NEVER approved by the state legislature.
Also, Philly used a public vote to allow Civilian Traffic Enforcement Officers. The FOP sure thinks this is not legal. This has not been implemented yet, and the exact duties are undefined. Again, the state never authorized it.
As you can see, you may also want to include a line when contacting your officials, which says that municipalities must not be permitted to try to get around the state legislature, and hope nothing will happen. You can bring up the two items above that Philly hopes to use.
Many entities in the state are hurting for revenue. Any technique they can use to get money will be tried, even if it seems to skirt the law. As you can see here, traffic deaths are still on a huge decline, so none of the heavy-handed enforcement is necessary. The number of fatalities continues to decline despite the anti-driver policies that could be harming safety.
Thank you for standing up for the rights of drivers in Pennsylvania and supporting the National Motorists Association.