RADAR should be banned in Pennsylvania. There is no epidemic crisis of speeding, only an epidemic crisis of highway engineering malpractice allied with and abetted by politicians seeking more and more money from safe drivers.
Speed is a cause of accidents 5% of the time, according to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) [DOT HS 811 059 National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey]. Speed as a cause of accidents when traffic is free flowing is a rare event, yet this is when the majority of citations are written. Speed traps are staged where it is safe to drive faster to make it easy for the cops to write tickets.
Yet, 50 years of government propaganda and misinformation about highway safety makes it easy for our elected servants to declare that unless we give local police radar guns, everybody's going to die! And far too many otherwise reasonable people agree, so in the end, the special interests who profit from RADAR, the RADAR manufacturers, the politicians, the police, and the courts, get their go-ahead to unfairly tax drivers.
Posted speed limits are at the bottom of all of this. What is the safe speed and who decides? If it were up to the politicians, we'd be driving cars that could only 20 miles per hour, and that would suit the do-gooders just fine. The core tenet of reasonable traffic laws, safety and due process is that the super majority of people act in a safe and responsible manner, and they do drive safely for the conditions present. An engineering concept known as the 85th
percentile very simply says that 85 out of 100 motor vehicles will normally travel at or below a speed which is reasonable and prudent. It is the safest speed with the most compliance. But that makes the job of the police, that is, to collect taxes for the government, very difficult indeed.
The Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHwA) found that 90% of the time speed limits are posted 8 to 16 miles per hour too slow [Report No. FHWA-RD-92-084 Effects of Raising and Lowering Speed Limits] . Because politicians respond to complaints from uninformed and misled constituants about "speeders" they push for arming all police state-wide with RADAR guns, while keeping limits too low and withholding NHTSA and FHwA statistics showing that there is no crisis.
Arbitrarily, unrealistic speed zones cannot be expected to reduce accidents and may, in fact, adversely affect traffic safety by confusing drivers and increasing speed differentials. Hunting down drivers with RADAR guns will not improve highway safety, and the unfair and unnecessary enforcement of too-low limits will foster contempt for law enforcement. Money is the one and only reason for RADAR. Call your representative and your senator and tell them to stop the nonsense and ban radar in Pennsylvania. Thank you.