State Senate approves bill allowing municipal police to use radar to enforce speed limits

State Sen. Randy Vulakovich (Photo provided by the office of Sen. Vulakovich)

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania State Senate approved Senate Bill 251 on Tuesday, legislation that would allow the commonwealth’s municipal police departments to use radar as a means of speed limit enforcement, according to a press release issued by Senator Randy Vulakovich, who introduced the bill.

“This measure is long overdue,” said Vulakovich, a former police officer.  “Every state but Pennsylvania permits their local police to use radar for monitoring traffic speed.  In Pennsylvania, only the State Police are authorized to use radar. We often talk about equipping our officers with the latest and best in technology; however, for some reason Pennsylvania has not yet provided its law enforcement officers with radar technology that has been around since World War II.  It is well past time we provide our officers with this speed enforcement mechanism.”

The bill sets the following conditions:

  • Municipalities must pass an ordinance allowing the use of RADAR/LIDAR.
  • Municipalities with RADAR/LIDAR must post signs indicating their use.
  • Points will not be assigned if the speed recorded is less than 10 miles over the speed limit.
  • Municipalities must test RADAR and LIDAR devices at least annually and they must be approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The measure is supported by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, the Pennsylvania Association of Township Commissioners, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association.

SB 251 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.