This is a response to Paul Carpenter's column, "Police radar proposal is about money, not traffic safety."
I have been a cop for more than 37 years, 32 with a large suburban New Jersey police department.
Radar is used by municipal police in every state except Pennsylvania. That would certainly suggest that it is an effective device for enforcing the law. Anecdotally, one of the most prevalent public complaints I have heard is about "speeders in my neighborhood." My career experience has been that those complaints are based on perception, and radar and LIDAR are the best tools available to municipal police officers for affirming or negating that perception. When that perception is substantiated, enforcement can be effective.
Excessive speed is a contributing factor in fatal motor vehicle crashes. From 2004-08, according to federal statistics, there were 7,590 fatalities in Pennsylvania, with 47 percent — 3,594 — related to speed. Speed may not have been the only factor, but one could certainly assert that it was a major factor.
In the end, one of the missions of the police is keeping the motoring public safe. As a motorist, one only needs to obey the posted speed limit in order to avoid being held accountable for violating the motor vehicle laws.
Kent A. Shuebrook
The writer is chief of police for
Amity Township, Berks County.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun