New Pennsylvania law grows, extends use of automated tickets

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 7/22/2016

A new law in Pennsylvania could soon result in more automated ticket cameras posted along roadways.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law on Wednesday, July 20, a bill to grow and extend the state’s red-light camera program. Previously SB1267, the new law covers traffic signals and the use of automated enforcement in the state.

The legislation is described by Sen. Bill Rafferty, R-Montgomery, as enhancing the state’s three-year-old Green Light-Go program that benefits municipalities throughout the state. Specifically, localities are eligible for funding through the program to upgrade their traffic signals.

Rafferty has said his bill reduces the local match, allows for other matching funds beyond private and municipal, and includes additional provisions for traffic signal management and enforcement.

Most concerning to many road users is a separate provision in the law that delays by one decade plans to rid the state of red-light cameras.

Automated ticketing devices are used in the city of Philadelphia and certain other municipalities. Without the legislative action to save them, the devices were set to be discontinued next year.

The new law extends the sunset provision for red-light cameras to 2027.

Critics say the new law simply amounts to helping ensure the existing ticketing programs never go away.

A 2012 state law extended Philadelphia’s program to July 2017, and it authorized 29 municipalities to install the ticketing devices. To date, only Abington Township in Montgomery County has installed cameras.

Violators face $100 fines.

Opponents say the extension will likely result in more municipalities making the decision to take advantage of the revenue opportunity.

OOIDA officials add that the focus on the revenue-generating devices ignores the more logical and reasoned approach to roads and traffic: to keep traffic moving in as safe a manner as possible.

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