EAST PENNSBORO TOWNSHIP, Pa. - In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for municipal police to use radar or lidar guns to stop speeders.
"Local police officers cannot use radar or lidar yet because it's not an approved timing device. They are using very archaic devices," said Brian Ferry from Laser Inc Technology.
For the next 30 days, the East Pennsboro Township Police Department is trying out lidar. They are the first municipal department, in Pennsylvania, that has been allowed to use the device. The gun operates through lasers and serves multiple purposes beyond catching someone speeding.
"You can use it now for following too closely. You could use it as a very accurate measuring tool. You could use it for mapping out accident scenes ; we could use it for crime scenes," said East Pennsboro Township Police Lt. Mark Green.
Though they will not be able to use the gun to measure someone's speed, they say they will be taking them into the community to combat tailgating. They feel people seeing them, with the guns, will make them slow down.
"My number one complaint and I get one almost everyday is speeding in my neighborhood," said Lt. Green.
Every other state uses Lidar. Green is hoping this experiment will give them enough evidence to convince legislators to change the law. In the past, legislation has been drafted, but nothing has passed. One of the main reasons legislators say they do not approve of the technology is because they do not want municipal police using the tools as a revenue booster. Green says it is all about safety.