This responds to the Ask/Answered column Oct. 5 in The Sentinel.
Calling for municipal police radar is a pure cash cow. Speed limits are already under-posted, and some bills allow tickets at 6 mph over the limit. Radar makes many errors, and if multiple vehicles are present, it cannot tell which one generated the reading, if any. Radar fails the Daubert Test used in legal proceedings. This slippery slope will lead to moving radar, which can make even more errors, as well as LIDAR, which also has problems. Search for Radargate Revisited and be amazed at what happened in Pennsylvania. It appeared to be common knowledge that radar errors were occurring.
The so-called experts pushing this also demanded red-light cameras. In Philadelphia, crashes increased after they went in. Then the same people called for speed cameras, stop-arm cameras, etc. All of these devices rely upon poor traffic engineering and predatory enforcement. This all leads to more crashes, tickets to safe drivers, erroneous tickets, etc. If regular radar makes errors, just imagine what can occur with speed cameras!
Maximum safety on roads occurs when we have speed limits posted to the 85th percentile free-flowing traffic speed, yellow traffic lights set to actual approach speeds with realistic perception and reaction times, and stop signs only where needed. When you do the opposite, you will cause crashes, ticket safe drivers, and maybe the wrong drivers. Why is best-practice engineering never discussed?
Please contact your state representative, state senator and the governor to oppose the above in Pennsylvania and demand best-practice engineering. Tickets should also be only points, no fines or surcharges.
James Sikorski Jr.
PA Advocate National Motorists Association