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Local police across the country use radar…but not here

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An Allegheny County lawmaker’s proposal would allow local police to use radar to catch speeders

Did you know that forty-nine states allow local police officers to use radar guns to enforce speeding laws? And the state that’s holding out?: The commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

By law, only Pennsylvania state police are allowed to use radar guns. Local police departments are forced to monitor driving speeds without this effective tool.

All the while, speeding drivers are endangering the lives pedestrians and people on bicycles, and making the road less safe for other motorists. According to the 2014 Alliance Benchmarking Report, 11% of all traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania are pedestrians and 1.2% are bicyclists. Those deaths are preventable and speed enforcement is an integral tool toward a vision zero of traffic fatalities.

Here’s the good news: A state senator from Allegheny County recently introduced a bill that would finally allow municipal police to use radar guns to monitor traffic speeds. SB 1340 is one of two bills proposed this legislative session seeking to enable local law enforcement’s use of radar guns. The other bill, HB 38, was introduced in January of 2013 and has not moved out of committee.

Winding roads and frequent hills are what make Pittsburgh’s landscape unique. But encountering speeding drivers along curves and slopes is a terrifying and all too common experience for Pittsburgh’s pedestrians and cyclists. It’s high time that we allow local law enforcement to make use of radar technology. Stay tuned to the BikePGH blog and Facebook for further updates on bringing radar to local police departments.


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