As of today the Philadelphia Traffic Court will no longer exist. Governor Corbett signed the bill that ordered the Traffic Court duties to be done by the Philadelphia Municipal Court.
Effective immediately, Traffic Court functions are under the supervision of Municipal Court, though the complete transition may take weeks or months according to CBS Philly.
“Municipal Court will hire hearing officers to handle traffic cases,” says Erik Arneson, a Pileggi spokesman. “There’s no set number, but we would anticipate it would be in the range of probably five to seven. That’s the number of judges that Traffic Court had.”
So the Municipal Court will now replace the current Traffic Court judges in the hopes to stamp out the corruption that was alleged by so many. In all my years of working with lawyers and individuals navigate the Philly Traffic Court I have never seen anyone get a favor in return for any compensation or money. I have seen years of uninformed public get frustrated by dealing with a system that was overworked and lacked resources.
I have seen policy created out of necessity to clear dockets and keep the system moving in the face of ignorance and the lack of personal responsibility by the public. This results in a feeling of dread and the thought that the task of clearing issues within the Old Traffic Court to be an overwhelming and daunting task.
My hopes for the transition to the municipal court would be the creation of a system to properly inform the public about proper procedure and options so they may get out of the debt and suspension spiral that often comes with even minor tickets.
Best of luck to whomever is chosen (not elected) to staff the new Municipal Court (Traffic Division) and I hope they have a better result than the Old Traffic Court.