PITTSBURGH — AAA is out with a study on municipalities raising money through speed traps.
The study didn’t mention any local traps, but does raise the question about speed enforcement as a way to raise revenue.
Say the words “speed trap” in Pittsburgh and everybody automatically thinks of Kilbuck Township. We know what used to happen out on Route 65.
The Kilbuck Police are no longer around, but speed enforcement is. Let’s be honest, speeding is common it’s something most of us do taking our chances at 5 miles per hour or so.
“We want to get the people that are really egregiously going over the limit,” said Lt. Duane Fisher with the Mt. Lebanon Police Department. “The people doing 15, 20 or more over the posted limits.”
Mt. Lebanon Police set up shop on Washington Road for the day.
“That area was identified based on the number of crashes, complaints of speeding, as well as the number of vehicles proceeding through the area every day,” said Fisher.
Lt. Fisher says it’s about safety, but others think it’s about revenue. Studies fuel that fire. Hopewell, Va. has 2 miles of interstate 295 the police write up to 1,000 tickets a month.
The resulting revenue generated was $1.8 million last year.
Several states passed laws preventing this type of revenue generating. Pennsylvania is not among them.
Lt. Fisher says there’s good reason why departments are out padding their budgets. The municipality only gets about $27 of that $200 fine.
The remainder goes to the state and the courts.
And we did the math. If Mt. Lebanon was trying to raise the same amount of money they got in Hopewell, they would have to write somewhere around 5,500 tickets every single month at only $27 a ticket.
That’s why it’s not worth their while.
AAA did speak to KDKA and said that there are no areas in Western Pennsylvania that are being accused of having speed traps.