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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Mulling Whether To Let Local Police Use Radar For Speed Enforcement

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) -- State lawmakers are looking at whether to let local police use radar for speed enforcement.

State senator Lindsey Williams is part of a bipartisan team that got Senate Bill 607 passed into the House's Transportation Committee.

Currently, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not allow local police departments to use radar.

"We just want to make sure that kids that are walking to school, senior citizens that are walking around, that people are safe," said Williams (D-Allegheny).

If the bill is signed into law, municipalities will make the final decision on if local police use the radar.

An ordinance also has to be passed.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"If this is an issue in your local community, you can pass the legislation," Sen. Williams said. "If it's not, you don't have to do that."

According to Shaler Township Deputy Police Chief Sean Frank, his department routinely gets calls from residents complaining about speeders.

"Daily," he said Monday the Shaler Police Station. "When we go to a neighborhood on a complaint, most of the people we happen to stop live in the neighborhood."

Frank said radar would be more efficient than the department's current methods.

"We can set up on some of our neighborhood streets, where we can't paint lines or have a sight distance that's longer than what radar would give us," Frank said.

If an ordinance passes, the bill mandate that written warnings be handed out during the first 90 days so the community can adjust.

To prevent this from being a revenue generator, the bill sets a cap at 20 percent of the municipal budget.

The rest of the money would go to the state.

"So it is not for money-making, it is just for the safety of residents," Sen. Williams said.

Police departments would also have to be trained and have calibration standards for their equipment.

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