By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of Pennsylvania state lawmakers is today considering legislation that would shut down Philadelphia Traffic Court.
One bill would start the process of amending the state constitution to formally eliminate Traffic Court; another would abolish it in all but name only. In both cases, Traffic Court functions would be turned over to Philadelphia Municipal Court.
The state senate has already passed these bills (see related story), which were the subject of a hearing today by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge Gary Glazer — assigned by state judges to run Traffic Court testified that the current Traffic Court system has been a perennial embarrassment. He said it’s been a two-track system of justice for adjudicating moving violations — one track for the politically connected and the other for the unwitting general public.
Glazer said some judges on the bench of Traffic Court have remained loyal to their friends and political supporters, who had a seemingly insatiable demand for fixing cases despite federal raids and grand jury investigations (see related story).
A Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee vote on the Traffic Court bills could come in May.