How can Pa be the only state in the US that doesn’t allow municipal police to use radar?

March 29 – You read that right. Pennsylvania is the ONLY STATE in the entire United States that does not allow municipal police to use radar for speed enforcement. 

How in the world is that even possible in this day and age?

It’s not that the idea hasn’t come up for a vote. It’s just that for whatever reason, it hasn’t gotten through both the House and the Senate at the same time.

Recently, the House Transportation Committee did unanimously vote to advance the bill. It still has to go to the floor and whether the votes are there right now remains to be seen.

It’s not that our local police departments don’t stop people for speeding – they definitely do, but they’re using equipment not nearly as simple as radar would be. The state is – and has been for nearly 50 years – making it a heck of a lot harder for them to do their jobs.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll joined Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen on First News today to discuss the issue.

Jansen warned the state has “done this before where one Chamber will pass it and the other won’t. That’s what could happen again and we have to make sure it doesn’t.”

Ryan added, “We’ve got to pound on the State Senators and State Representatives. This has got to get done this year. We’ve got to get this thing to the finish line.”

So, what do we do?

Emails and calls to local Senators and Representatives is a good starting point.

But there’s this group, see, called the National Motorist Association that, from their website:  is a membership-based organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the motoring public.

The NMA is a nonprofit organization consisting of an alliance of motorists joined together to protect drivers’ rights in the courts, on the streets and in our vehicles. NMA members number in the thousands and are active in all 50 states as well as several provinces in Canada. They’re headquartered in Waunakee, WI.

They’ve been opposing this kind of legislation in Pa. for a long time now. They think it will be a way of generating (hold onto something for this one – for real) too much revenue for municipalities and it will encourage speed traps.

Too much revenue? Seriously?

“Municipal police are already doing speed enforcement,” Barkdoll noted. “This would just be another tool for them. I think some of these concerns are way overstated. Send an email to your local Rep, your Senator. Tell them that you support this. It’s time that Pennsylvania join the other 49 states in getting into the modern times here.”

Ryan added in terms of the NMA opposing this:  “Why don’t you guys come downtown and see how they bank around the fountain and across the street from a candy store. It’s about safety. Good grief.”

Jansen asked, “Isn’t this insane because it’s in every other state? Somehow if Pennsylvania has it, what? They’re going to go crazy compared to the other states?”

The bill itself has limitations already in place.

“Our state police have been effectively using this for decades in Pennsylvania and there’s no suggestion it’s being abused,” Barkdoll added. “I think it’s crazy. The idea that 49 other states are doing this with no problem but somehow we’re different. It’s just absurd.”

Ryan continued, “I want these chiefs out there to have something on wheels that they can set up and do what they do in Hagerstown around the schools. Everybody slows down to 20-25 miles an hour and if you don’t, here’s a little love note from the borough. What I see in front of this radio station every, single day is a speedway. Who’s holding it up?”

News Talk 103.7FM would welcome the chance to talk to someone from the National Motorist Association.