Lower Merion Township is currently considering a police proposal to have cameras installed at “accident heavy” intersections so that they may ticket motorists that run red lights. Parts of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are currently the only cities in Pennsylvania that use cameras in this fashion.
HB-254, a law passed this July by the Pennsylvania Legislature, allows for accredited police departments of municipalities of over $20,000 people may, upon the passage of a local ordinance, to apply to PennDot for approval to implement “automated red-light enforcement systems”. A municipality like Lower Merion Township would have to satisfy PennDot that the camera is needed for the intersection(s) based on crash data and “not on traffic volume”.
Yeah right. Anyone who lives or works in Lower Merion Township is familiar with the various speed traps randomly run on Lancaster and Montgomery Avenues. As a Pa. traffic ticket lawyer that practices in the courts of Ardmore, Narberth, and Bala Cynwyd, I can tell you first hand that those courts are routinely swollen with motorists writing out checks to pay for their traffic fines. Sometimes I think our traffic fines pay to keep the Township running. Personally, I don’t need to pay more money in taxes so that the police can buy cameras so they can get better at pulling me over and giving me tickets. No thanks. But that’s just me.