Lehigh Valley

Easton area police backing radar law

FORKS TWP. Pa. - Pennsylvania is the only state that doesn't allow local police to use radar but some Easton area law enforcement officials think that needs to change.

Forks Township police Chief Greg Dorney is one of them.

He asked township supervisors Thursday night to back new legislation that would allow municipal police officers to use radar to check drivers' speeds.

Currently, only state troopers are allowed to use radar in Pennsylvania. 

"Radar would make our lives a whole lot easier," Dorney told the supervisors at their monthly work session.

He said Palmer Township supervisors had written to local legislators offering their support of the bill, and that the chiefs of police in Easton and Wilson would be asking their officials to do the same.

Dorney noted that the legislation has been brought up numerous times before, but has always been voted down.

The current bill was introduced by state Sen. Randy Vulakovich, (R, Allegheny and Butler), a former police officer.

"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," Vulakovich said in a news release. " It is well past time we provide our officers with this speed enforcement mechanism."

Supporters of the legislation say more radar guns in use means safer roads, while critics argue police could use them to create speed traps and drive up revenue.

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