Motorists in Philadelphia might be able to see some changes this year as, Dominic Pileggi, Republican leader of the state Senate, is prepared to present bills abolishing the Philadelphia Traffic Court. This is the result of an investigation commissioned by the state’s chief justice that discovered a widespread ticket-fixing for drivers who are known by the right people.
In his week memo for colleagues, Pileggi wrote that only Philadelphia has established a separate Traffic Court. So far, he does not see any objective evidence that its existence would benefit public interest. The good Senator is now soliciting his colleagues to co-sponsors his legislation.
For the purpose of this legislation, two bills are needed. The first one will eliminate references made to the Traffic Court and the second will alter the Judicial Code of the Court moving the court’s power to Philadelphia Municipal Court who will now decide alleged traffic violations.
Pileggi added that this has to be prepared so that stipulations can become effective whether or not the amendment of the constitution is finally approved..
In September of 2011, the FBI made a series of raids after which the Traffic Court, located at 8th and Spring Garden streets, became the object of a federal investigation. After the raids were done, a Traffic Court investigation was commissioned by chief justice, Ronald D. Castille under William G. Chadwick.
In November, Chadwick presented a 35-page report describing the Traffic Court as having two systems of justice; for those with connections and for the unaware general public. Chadwick reported that at least four judges and 22 court employees admitted during his interviews of an ongoing widespread ticket-fixing that is happening in court..
Since the Republicans are now a majority in both Senate and House, their support will surely lead to a hasty passage of Pileggi’s proposals and presenting them for approval to the Republican Governor Corbett.
As of the present, the Traffic Court maintains seven authorized judgeships, and has a current vacancy of three judges which will be filled in this year’s elections. Pileggi said that the position is open to those without any degree in law and the compensation is $91,052 annually. Now and in the past, almost all of the judgeships were won by little-known candidates under the Democratic Party.