WEST PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Should municipal police departments in Pennsylvania use radar technology to enforce speed limits?

State law currently prohibits it. But a Luzerne County Police Chief believes it would make community streets much safer.

Pennsylvania law only allows state police to catch speeding drivers with radar detectors. Among those advocating for change is the West Pittston Chief of Police, who says his department is long-overdue for updated equipment.

A steady flow of traffic moved along Exeter Avenue Thursday in West Pittston. It’s a busy street that’s often monitored for speeding by West Pittston Police Officers.

“There’s a process that we have to go through to utilize the equipment that we have,” said Chief Michael Turner of the West Pittston Police Department.

Officers currently use stopwatches to calculate speeds as cars drive through painted lines on roadways.

“That’s just time-consuming, every year we’ve got to maintain the lines, we’ve got to mark the roads, get locations, and it’s so hard to mark them on side roads, and where to sit on side roads,” Chief Turner explained.

In addition to all that, Chief Turner says they have to pay for the stop-watches to be recalibrated every three months. He believes using radar technology is a better alternative.

“It’s more precise, it’s more efficient, and it would definitely make our streets a lot safer,” Chief Turner added.

Chief Turner says it would also help the process move faster, as his department is currently operating short-staffed.

“If I was able to, I’d have a traffic car on every day during the high traffic times. But unfortunately, with the national shortage of law enforcement officers, we do what we can with what we have,” Chief Turner said.

Many local residents Eyewitness News spoke with say speeding is a concern in their communities.

“I actually had a few conversations with some local police officers about the speeding on my road, and it just seems like the main issue is putting the lines out there, they have to do traffic studies,” Ryan Laffey of Shavertown told Eyewitness News.

At the end of the day, Chief Turner says he just wants to serve residents the best way he can.

“It’s not about monetary, it’s not about a quota. We never had a quota. The overall goal is to slow the roads down, slow traffic down, prevent accidents, prevent pedestrians getting hit by cars, make it a safer community,” Cheif Turner stated.

Members of law enforcement from across the commonwealth rallied in Harrisburg Thursday in support of house bill 606. It would allow local police to use radar once a municipality passes an ordinance authorizing it.