Yes, it is true that only the State Police in Pennsylvania are
currently authorized to use RADAR.
Specifically, Pennsylvania Vehicle Code (Title 75) states, ?electronic
devices such as radio-microwave devices (commonly referred to as
electronic speed meters or radar) may be used only by members of the
Pennsylvania State Police.?
However, the code also states, ?Electronic devices which calculate
speed by measuring elapsed time between measured road surface points
by using two sensors and devices which measure and calculate the
average speed of a vehicle between any two points may be used by any
The devices that are authorized for use by local police are VASCAR
(Visual Average Speed Computer And Readout), ESP (Excessive Speed
Preventer) and ENRADD (Electronic Non RAdar Detection Device).
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
THE VEHICLE CODE (TITLE 75)
PART III. OPERATION OF VEHICLES
CHAPTER 33. RULES OF THE ROAD IN GENERAL
Subchapter F - Speed Restrictions.
§ 3368. Speed timing devices.
?(c) Mechanical, electrical and electronic devices authorized.--
Except as otherwise provided in this section, the rate of speed of any
vehicle may be timed on any highway by a police officer using a
mechanical or electrical speed timing device.
Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (3), electronic devices such
as radio-microwave devices (commonly referred to as electronic speed
meters or radar) may be used only by members of the Pennsylvania State
Electronic devices which calculate speed by measuring elapsed time
between measured road surface points by using two sensors and devices
which measure and calculate the average speed of a vehicle between any
two points may be used by any police officer.?
Fairview Township On-Line
POLICE DEPARTMENT ACTIVITIES FOR 2004
?Local municipal police departments throughout the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania have been trying, without success, for more than four
decades, to have legislation passed that would allow municipal offices
to utilize RADAR as an effective tool to enforce the speed laws within
the Commonwealth. Currently, there is pending legislation in the House
of Representatives (HB 1961). Currently, Pennsylvania is the ONLY
STATE in the entire United States that does not permit its local law
enforcement agencies to utilize RADAR as an effective tool to combat
speeding violations within their communities. We ask that you PLEASE
contact your local House Representative and have him or her do
whatever they can to get this legislation passed. This RADAR Bill has
been stalled in the House Transportation Committee and, quite frankly,
is being held there purposely by the Chairman of this Committee,
Representative Geist of Blair County. We get requests on almost a
daily basis to have speed enforcement in any given area throughout the
Township; however, for many reasons, the only tool that we could
adequately address these speeding issues with, is RADAR. Until we have
legislation passed allowing us to utilize the speed timing equipment,
we will remain ineffective in speed enforcement in many areas.?
?Cranberry Township police have added to their arsenal of traffic
enforcement equipment ? and are launching a strict new drive to ticket
Although local police in Pennsylvania are barred from using radar to
clock speed, Township police are using an alternative electronic
system, ENRADD, to determine how fast a vehicle is moving. Using two
sets of transmitters and receivers, the unit measures the time it
takes a vehicle to pass between a pair of electronic beams.
During the past year, there has been a sharp rise in the number of
drivers being stopped by Cranberry Township police for traveling at
speeds above 80 miles per hour ? a reckless and dangerous practice.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
speeding contributed to 551 deaths in Pennsylvania last year alone.
And citizen reports about speeding drivers are the single greatest
source of complaints.
The ENRADD system will take its place alongside the established VASCAR
and Robic manual systems, both of which calculate speed over measured
areas of roadway. In May, police will repaint the VASCAR speed timing
lines on roads throughout the Township.?
East Cocalico Township Police
Frequently Asked Questions
?Q:WHAT IS VASCAR / ESP / ENRADD? HOW DO THEY WORK?
A: VASCAR is an acronym for Visual Average Speed Computer And Readout,
ESP is an acronym for Excessive Speed Preventer and ENRADD is an
acronym for Electronic Non RAdar Detection Device. These devices are
speed timing devices which measure a vehicles elapsed time between two
measured points. The devices then compute the speed by using a common
mathmatical equation by computing the distance, and the elapsed time
of a vehicle to arrive at the speed.
Q:ARE THESE DEVICES LEGAL FOR USE BY MUNICIPAL POLICE?
A: Yes. Current Pennsylvania law allows municipal police officers to
use Electronic, Electrical, and Mechanical devices to measure speed of
vehicles. Current legislation prevents municipal Police from using
RADAR. Currently only Pennsylvania State Police officers may use
RADAR. However, there are efforts being made to change current
legislation to allow the use of RADAR by municipal officers to
effectively increase our public highway safety.?
Local police use radar in 49 states, but not here
Sunday, April 28, 2002
?When the Pirates and San Diego Padres square off this afternoon at
PNC Park, a Pirates employee will use a radar gun to time the speed of
But outside the park, Pittsburgh police won't be able to use radar to
time the speed of drivers on General Robinson Street or anyplace else.
That's because municipal police in Pennsylvania, unlike their
counterparts in 49 other states, are prohibited from using the
half-century-old technology to enforce speed limits. Under
Pennsylvania law, only state police can use radar.?
?The Harrisburg-based association has for years pushed for legislation
to allow local police to use radar or laser speed-timing devices,
commonly known as LIDAR.
But the state Legislature has never wavered. State police have used
radar for speed enforcement since 1962.
A bill that would permit full-time officers in departments that
operate full time to use radar or LIDAR -- House Bill 1961 -- has been
mired in the House Transportation Committee since October.?
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Addendum and Revision of the Listing of Approved Speed-Timing Devices
and Appointment of Maintenance and Calibration Stations
[27 Pa.B. 1206]
? The Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, under
the authority of section 3368 of the Vehicle Code (75 Pa.C.S. § 3368),
published at 26 Pa.B. 6225 (December 28, 1996), a notice of approved
speed-timing devices and maintenance and calibration stations for use
until the next comprehensive list is published.
As an addendum to the listing of approved electronic speed-timing
devices (radar) for use only by members of the Pennsylvania State
Police, published at 26 Pa.B. 6225, December 28, 1996, the Department
has approved, under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3368(c)(2), two electronic
speed-timing devices (radar). Additionally, the Department has
approved under 75 Pa.C.S. § 3368(c)(3), an electronic speed-timing
device (non-radar), which calculates average speed between any two
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
No. 1961 Session of 2003
Amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, further providing for conviction and point schedules, for
speed timing devices and for State and local powers.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any
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