Op-Ed | Allowing Stop-Arm Cameras?

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Act 159 of 2018, allowing stop-arm cameras, may not be legal. It allows automated cameras to cite a vehicle owner with a criminal violation for illegal school bus passing. The penalty is a fine, points, and license suspension. The bill assumes the vehicle owner was driving, or requires proof that the owner was not driving. How do you prove you were not driving a few months later? It also limits allowed defenses. Under the American legal system, for a criminal moving violation, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who was driving, that a violation was committed, and allow any defenses. You need not prove innocence in America, or provide any info, they must prove you guilty. This law fails that basic test.


It would seem you merely need to ask the judge to throw out the ticket and he should. Say the law does not seem valid. Even if the law is allowed, the prosecution still cannot prove who was driving, most likely.


The bill does not require a minimum flashing yellow duration or any form of best-practice engineering to ensure that only intentional violators are ticketed. Some roadway configurations are confusing, and Pennsylvania has some non-standard laws, such as for buses stopped on intersecting roads. Flashing lights are also not positioned sideways.


Illegal passing is highly exaggerated, per NHTSA data. A school can install stop-arm extenders to block the next lane and be more visible, if any issues.


Information Provided By:
James Sikorski Jr.
PA Advocate National Motorists Association