HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Legislation is on the move to permit all of Pennsylvania’s municipal police departments to use radar to catch speeders.
The bill passed the Senate, 47-3, and heads to the House. However, the bill’s passage arrives late in the two-year legislation session, when the House has just six scheduled session days before Nov. 30, when all bills die.
Under the bill, police officers could use radar or infrared laser light devices to catch speeders after complete a training course. Currently, only the Pennsylvania State Police are allowed to use such devices in the state.
“I thought it would be beneficial for a small town, it’s definitely going to save lives with a device like that,” Carnegie Police Det. Dennis Lawrence said.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Randy Vulakovich of Allegheny County, says Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn’t permit local police to use radar.
“We give them a badge, we give them Tasers, give them handcuffs, a weapon, but we won’t give them radar,” Sen. Randy Vulakovich said.
Sen. Vulakovich is sponsoring the bill. He used to be a Shaler police officer and realizes the limitations local police face.
“We’re still using the same devices that we’ve been using the last 20 to 30 years – the VASCAR device,” he said.
A municipality’s governing body would have to first adopt an ordinance authorizing its police force to use the devices.
Most people KDKA-TV’s Christine D’Antonio spoke with said they support it.
“Actually, I didn’t even know that they couldn’t do it so I’m not really opposed to it per se. It makes sense that they do it,” Patrick Furey said.
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