Peters Township Council voted Monday night to ask state lawmakers to allow municipal police departments to use radar to catch speeders.
Pennsylvania is one of the only states in the country that does not let local police to use radar while on patrols. Instead, police officers are required to track cars using stopwatches as they travel through white timing lines.
Peters Township Manager Mike Silvestri said that makes it tougher for police departments in this area with winding and shorter roads.
“We’ve done the resolution in the past and always been supportive of police being able to do radar,” Silvestri said. “Especially in communities like Peters where you have short roads and curves. It would be a lot easier than using the timing devices.”
The council voted to send a letter to state Rep. John Maher, R-Upper St. Clair, and state Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, asking the state to change the law. Pennsylvania State Police are the only ones permitted to use radar while enforcing the speed limit.
Silvestri said this isn’t a ploy to garner more fine money because the majority money generated from speeding tickets is used to pay officers going to court.
“We would not be doing it as a money raiser,” Silvestri said. “The way it works in Peters, if someone appeals (the ticket), we have to pay overtime, so we don’t really make a lot of money on fines. Our main goal is to keep the streets safe. We would use it responsibly.”
As of now, there doesn’t appear to be much interest in the state legislature to allowing local police departments to use radar.