There has recently been some turmoil in the Philadelphia Traffic Court located at 800 Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia, PA. Accounts of favoritism and a two tier penalty system that have caused many of the prior judges to step down and face accusations of doing favors fot those connected have led to the Pennsylvania legislators to unanimously vote to do away with the Philadelphia traffic court and let the Philadelphia municipal court handle traffic and parking violations for Philly.
According to Philly.com – the [PA Senate] chamber on Wednesday passed two bills. The first would eliminate the seven-member court from the state constitution, which would require several years to accomplish. The second would hobble the court in the interim by transferring its responsibilities to Philadelphia Municipal Court.
The bills now go to the state House, where their chances also appear strong.
If the PA House agrees with the Senate and these bills pass then you could see the end of a system that had great potential. A dedicated traffic court done right could save Philly so many headaches and could streamline a system for residents to quickly and fairly handle simple traffic tickets and parking violations. The sheer volume of traffic and parking cases will make the already busy municipal court workload grind and sputter. It is going to take some time to properly incorporate the once external Philly traffic ticket matters into the municipal system, and take a good bit of money to expand the municipal system to keep up with the increased load.
What this means for you, the Philadelphia driver?
Nothing in the short term. Even if these bills are passed it will take a few years to merge the two systems and develop proper procedures and resources for the Municipal Court. In the long term however you may see longer waits for hearings as well as added confusion about new rules to keep both systems running properly.