Oppose Local Police Use of Radar and Lidar in the Pennsylvania House

Dear NMA Pennsylvania Members,

The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing April 4, 2018 on local and regional police potential use of radar (also includes Lidar) as a speed timing device. There is no bill attached to the hearing but we believe it to be SB 251 which has already been passed by the Senate.

We ask that you put the pressure on again about Radar and Lidar use by local Police.

First, contact your own Pennsylvania Representative here. Tell him or her that you are opposed to municipal police Radar and LIDAR (main bill is SB 251.)

Second, contact members of the PA House Transportation and say you oppose municipal radar. Here is contact information for the chair and the minority chair.

Third, please feel free to write letters to the editor to be printed in newspapers around the state.

Pennsylvania Advocate Jim Sikorski says the main objective of this hearing is to get the media to portray Radar and Lidar as a positive enforcement tool for local police

Here are some suggestions to use in your advocacy against Radar and Lidar.

  • Speed limits in PA are posted well below the accepted standard of the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speed. State lawmakers are targeting the safest drivers. Low speed limits and strict enforcementCAUSE crashes.
  • Radar/Lidar devices have errors and frequently have trouble distinguishing between cars on a highway or street for a proper reading. Here are two articles that might be of interest:
  • If passed, local police would be able to issue Radar and Lidar tickets beginning at 6 mph above the speed limit. If the devices are not calibrated properly, the margin of error would perhaps be too high and would catch law abiding motorists who are then pressured into not fighting their tickets they did not deserve.
  • The use of Radar and Lidar frequently contributes to speed traps which are created at a speed change going into a city limit, the downside or upside of a hill, or a significant turn in the road. Speed traps generally have nothing to do with safety but rather a scheme more aligned to “policing for profit” to help cities pay for police departments and/or balance city budgets.

NMA Founder James Baxter wrote an article in 2008 called What Everyone Should Know about Laser Guns that you might find helpful.

Thank you for your continuing support of Pennsylvania motorists’ rights!

P.S. If you are not already signed up, please join the NMA email list for people interested in Pennsylvania driving issues. During average weeks, there may be 1-3 emails, but they are not very long. Members can contact the NMA here and ask to be added.

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