Dear NMA Pennsylvania Members,
In the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the House Transportation Committee will be voting on Monday, October 21, 2019 on bill HB 1825. This bill will allow speed-timing devices to be calibrated much less often than they are currently. The result of this is a possibility of tickets being issued in error, as well as many more speed traps enforcing speed limits that are posted below the recognized standard of the 85th percentile.
The bill’s author said these devices are used daily, but only wants to calibrate them yearly. Tires may change on a police cruiser, the devices can be dropped or banged around, mechanical or electrical parts can break, etc. A self-test error may not always be triggered, and an officer may be unaware of problems. In addition, it will be more lucrative to issue tickets, as the police no longer will be required to routinely get the devices calibrated, which costs money and is a hassle. What should be done instead, is that all speed-timing devices should be required to undergo calibration every 60 days. That would be the opposite of what this bill does.
Pennsylvania has a poor track record on speed-timing device accuracy. Remember the Radargate incident from years past when erroneous tickets went out routinely? Also note the comment at the top of this link from another state dealing with calibration problems.
This same committee also has the municipal radar bill, SB 607. This bill is not up for a vote yet, but there is a concerted statewide effort by special-interest groups to contact legislators. This bill can see action at any time on short notice.
Best course of action is to contact your own PA representative and say to vote NO on both bills. When they meet in private, reps can tell the party leaders that constituents do not want these bills. You can also send a short email to the head of the transportation committee.
We must remain vigilant on trying to repeal past anti-driving measures also. The best bet is for dues-paying members to contact the NMA and ask to be added to the NMA PA state email group, which yields 1-3 emails per week typically. Current list members already know the pertinent past and present bills. One you join, a group member can fill you in. The past bills that were enacted now have act numbers, so they need to be referred to differently.
It is also important to get new members to join the NMA. Our opposition is well-funded and supports these bad bills as part of their everyday jobs. We need active members who are willing to spend a few minutes occasionally to take action, otherwise you simply need to pay attention to current happenings.
Remember, if we fail to take action, we will get the government we deserve! There is nobody else to do this, it is up to PA members.
Thank you for your support of motorists’ rights in PA and your support of the NMA!