Dear NMA Pennsylvania Members,
June may be the most anti-driver month of 2017, as the state enacts a budget!
Some troubling comments were made about using speed cameras to fund the state police, and creating special funds for road projects. The Pennsylvania Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which was put out a few months ago, also spells trouble for drivers, and goes well beyond the items discussed below.
The same goes for Philadelphia and its Vision Zero Draft Plan. The changes being discussed will affect the entire state, as law changes are required. Anything that starts off limited, will spread. PA drivers have never been under attack the way they are anymore. It is the perfect storm of the PA state, county, and municipal governments being broke, anti-car advocates, and modern technology.
Here is a rundown of current bills you may wish to mention. It is more important to talk about the general concepts, rather than being fixated on bill numbers. New bills show up all the time and others get modified. The pace is brisk. The NMA will try to keep you updated on important happenings, but time is not always available, so best to check in with legislators BEFORE bad things occur.
Oppose speed cameras in work zones- SB 172
Oppose speed cameras on part of Roosevelt Blvd. (US 1) in Philadelphia- HB 1187
Oppose stop-arm cameras- HB 540
Oppose a related bill (HB 744), which requires school buses to install surveillance cameras, both inside and outside the bus. This does not allow for anything new, it simply mandates the devices. These are NOT stop-arm cameras, which ticket people automatically. Any bus can have surveillance cameras today, which may be used by police. Police can use them to issue tickets, but the tickets would be normal tickets. Tickets should be issued on the spot, by a real police officer, not mailed after the fact. Also, a school should be afforded the choice about whether or not to use surveillance cameras.
Basically, you want to say that you oppose ALL forms of automated traffic enforcement cameras for traffic offenses. This includes red-light cameras, speed cameras, and stop-arm cameras. Also oppose municipal police using radar, and all police using LIDAR. The names used here are the most common terms, but you may see others used. Information can be found on the NMA website about correct engineering and why opposing unfair ticketing is necessary. While we must work to stop new bad laws from being enacted, we must also say we want the current red-light camera law repealed (Act 101 of 2016.)
You can contact your own PA House and PA Senate members here.
Contact Governor Wolf here.
It would also be helpful if members would send pro-driver letters to the editor to their own local newspapers.
There is also an excellent private Pennsylvania email group for NMA members. During most weeks, there may be 1-3 emails. A great source of keeping current on news, simple ideas for activism, hearing what other members think, etc. You can ask the NMA to sign you up by sending an email with your name here.
Thank you for your support of motorists’ rights in Pennsylvania!