Radar | coming to Columbia and local police departments in PA?


Columbia wants radar | At Tuesday’s Borough Council, the folks seated around the horseshoe-shaped table configuration embraced the support of the Use of Radar in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 607. What purpose do speed timing devices (radar) serve? The primary reason police departments want radar is to catch speeders, right? Perhaps, but police chiefs and other lobbying entities cite “to avoid pedestrian deaths and injuries in the name of public safety. speed timing devices.”

Ironically, speed is not a primary pedestrian contributor | Numerous sources don’t list speeding as a reason for pedestrian/ vehicular incidents: “Almost every pedestrian accident is caused by the negligence or inattentiveness of an automobile or motorcycle driver.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Almost half (48%) of crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol for the driver or the pedestrian.” The CDC  also says, “Additionally, higher vehicle speeds increase both the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck by a car and the severity of injury.” Notice the CDC doesn’t say speed increases the incidence, just the “likelihood.”

This video, produced by the City of Lancaster, was shown during the council meeting and is being included in Websites across the state as an educational program.

Almost all police departments and municipal leaders are vocal that the use of radar in speed abatement measures is not a “money-making scheme.” Almost all police departments in Pennsylvania are singing the same song, too, that Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow local police departments to use radar.

“James Sikorski, Jr., a Pennsylvania member of the National Motorists Association (NMA), is one of the bill’s opponents, and he believes that traffic safety goals could instead be achieved by setting proper speed limits. Sikorski noted that the legislative proposals under consideration in Pennsylvania do not require reliance on the 85th-percentile free-flowing traffic operating speed — an engineering standard used by many states and regions to determine speed limits.” – GovTech.com

The NMA issued this caution about the Senate Bill: “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.”

One thing is for sure | Radar detector sales will go up. Radar detectors are legal in passenger vehicles in Pennsylvania. And there are bunches of retail outlets, brick and mortar and online that are ready to sell units to folks traveling through Pennsylvania’s local municipalities. Here’s a link totop remote radar detection system ever made.”

CBPD speed patrols on Route 30 | Citizen Frank Doutrich wondered that he’d heard that Columbia’s Police Department has speed patrols on Route 30; the police chief responded that was true because the borough’s police department has an agreement with the Pennsylvania State Police.  Here’s where the “pedestrian safety” argument loses traction. Here’s where the use of radar begins to look a lot like small towns in Alabama in years gone by.

speed trapsSOURCE: Websites like this one and National Speed Trap Exchange at will become more popular and new speed trap ahead sites will be popping up everywhere. Maybe there’ll be local Webssites, too?




  1. Radar can make MANY errors and fails the Daubert Test. Pull up Radargate Revisited to see. Can’t tell which car made the reading, either. Absurdly low speed limits, tickets at 6 mph above them.

    Speed limits should be set to the 85th percentile free flowing traffic speed, but they are not. This means
    more crashes, tickets to safe drivers, and the wrong drivers.

    PennDOT’s own data shows that the roads have never been safer. I do have a simple solution. Make ALL tickets only points, no fines or surcharges. See who wants radar then. In the end, money talks and that is 100% of what this is about. Want full compliance, then post PROPER speed limits!

    Better get ready to pay up to drive anywhere!

  2. Mike, are you suggesting PA change its speed limits to what they do in Montana? There, on high speed roads you can go about as fast as you want,, say 90 mph during the day.

    70 mph on the PA Turnpike and a few other high speed roads seems to be okay, but certainly not on such highways as Rte. 30. There are far too many drivers who ignore speed limits and do other stupid things like driving in the rain without headlights on.

    As for local cops having radar, I think they should not.

  3. The calibration bill is different, it is HB 1825. So passing that may mean more tickets go out in error. Why not, all about the money, right? Ha!

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