Philadelphia Traffic Court Abolished

Philadelphia's traffic court is no more.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed senate bill 334 into law Wednesday morning, according to Pa. State Senator Dominic Pileggi.

Sen. Pileggi (R-Delaware) introduced the bill into the legislature in January following a federal investigation that led to criminal charges for alleged ticket-fixing.

The Senate voted unanimously in favor of a revised version of the legislation last Tuesday, which will move traffic court duties to a traffic division of Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Currently scheduled traffic court judicial elections will now be canceled.

A companion bill was previously approved to remove the traffic court from the state constitution. That measure still requires a second round of approval in the House and Senate in the next legislative session and then passage in a voter referendum.

Nine current or former Philadelphia traffic court judges were accused by federal authorities this spring of fixing tickets.

Sen. Pileggi said news accounts about the problems at the city's traffic court were obvious justification to do away with it.

"Through the last 50 years, the Philadelphia Traffic Court has demonstrated a remarkable ability to be the center of scandal after scandal, some criminal in nature and others the result of basic incompetence,'' Pileggi said. "The court has proven to be immune to all reform efforts.'

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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