Oct 13, 2013

South Whitehall's Speed Trap

I don't write too often about South Whitehall, actually, this is the first time. I don't consider it a place, just a bedroom community. There's no downtown, there's no old town, there's no nothing, except excessive regulations. They have at least one cop who parks on the concrete island on Tilghman Street, by Cedar Crest Blvd.. He's trying to catch traffic violators, of one sort or another. Often he turns around and chases a car down Tilghman, catching them just before they hit Allentown, in one half block. It always reminds me about the speed trap in Coopersburg, when I was growing up. Does South Whitehall need the money that bad? Lately, I have been particularly annoyed about Smokey up there on that concrete island. Seems as if there has been a wave of burglaries in the township, not reported to the public. The police chief says that it's the media's responsibility to inquire about such statistics. South Whitehall has no problem communicating about every new regulation, think they could warn the public, and get Smokey off the island and patrolling the neighborhoods, looking for the bandit.

UPDATE: I've been informed that identifying expired auto registrations and inspections is the primary objective of officers monitoring Tilghman Street. There is a high correlation between these types of violations and lack of auto insurance. Furthermore,  South Whitehall is one of the few local police departments enrolled with CrimeMapping.Com, which provides the public easy access to crime reports.


monkey momma said...

I drive past that island every day and can confirm that Smokey is there regularly. However, in my opinion, people drive like freaking maniacs on 222. I am actually relieved to see the officer there, since people cannot seem to control themselves on that stretch of highway. I realize Whitehall has a priority problem, but I just wanted to voice my personal appreciation for his frequent presence on this speedway.

Anonymous said...

Fundraising. Inspection stickers are the easiest excuse then go from there. It's the latest craze with suburban PDs. Upper Macungie does it to great excess. Over 600 traffic citation/month according to their website. But there's no quotas. Hmmm... A cop from a Berks county force told me they make at least $37.50/citation and it goes up from there for speeding. Do the math. Pays for a lot of OT and shiny new vehicles. SWT has been on the forefront of this fundraising by traffic citation for years. Even to the point of an MC "investigation" years ago.

Anonymous said...

Anon 619am has an interesting point - using traffic citation revenue to boost the budget.

I can't remember the last time I saw someone getting ticketed for a traffic violation in Allentown, and at least 15yrs since I saw a speed trap. In fact the last time I crossed the 8th St. bridge, I was doing 50mph and was passed by 3 other cars. It's either 25 or 35 there, I can't remember which.

Allentown's police force is stretched thin, still about 100 officers short. But you know what? This is low hanging fruit and easy cash.

Anonymous said...

How is a cop on an island on Tilghman St impacting speeders on 222?

When is the state going to allow radar enforcement in third class cities? Only state troopers can use radar. Speeding enforcement would be more practical in places like the eight st bridge with radar.

michael molovinsky said...

@9:49, correct, rt. 222 is west hamilton blvd. i believe that allentown would need another 500 police before they have time for speeding. at this point they don't even enforce double parking or littering, contrary to official policy.