Unmarked Car Speed Trap in Philadelphia: What’s Your Take?

Well I am just assuming it was a speed trap. I was driving yesterday down Interstate I-95 southbound from Bucks County to Philadelphia. Soon after I crossed into Philadelphia (close to the Academy Road exit), I saw a car pulled over by an unmarked car with its hidden police lights on which appeared to have pulled over another vehicle. Behind the unmarked police car was a marked Philadelphia Police SUV.

The unmarked police car looked like an everyday car. I could not make out the type of car. It was not one of the regular police car models that we normally see on the road. This seemed a little unfair to me.

As you may know, in Pennsylvania, only State Police officers are permitted by law to use radar. Since the Philadelphia Police, which includes the Philadelphia Highway Patrol are not designated as Pennsylvania State Police, I do not think under established law that they have the right to track vehicles speed by radar.

So it appears that the Philadelphia Police have resorted to using completely unmarked cars to observe and “pace” speeders by following them. Non-State Police officers are allowed to use different forms of speed traps such as stop watches, VASCAR, and pacing. On Interstate I-95 in Philadelphia there is no room on the highway to safely conduct speed traps using a timing device.

I checked the Philadelphia Police Department’s website and found nothing on the unmarked car-speed trap initiative. Maybe the police pulled that car over for some other reason. Maybe they were looking for the driver of the vehicle who had an outstanding warrant. If this was a speed trap, it seems somewhat unfair. What do you think?