Corbett Gets Bill To Abolish Philly Traffic Court

Associated Press

A bill to abolish Philadelphia’s traffic court, where a federal investigation led to criminal charges for alleged ticket-fixing, passed the Legislature on Tuesday and was sent to Gov. Tom Corbett, who signaled he intends to sign it.

The Senate voted unanimously in favor of a revised version of the legislation, which will move traffic court duties to a traffic division of Philadelphia Municipal Court.

After Corbett signs it, currently scheduled traffic court judicial elections will be canceled.

A companion bill was previously approved to remove the traffic court from the state constitution. That measure still requires a second round of approval in the House and Senate in the next legislative session and then passage in a voter referendum.

Nine current or former Philadelphia traffic court judges were accused by federal authorities this spring of fixing tickets.

The bill’s sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said news accounts about the problems at the city’s traffic court were obvious justification to do away with it.

“Through the last 50 years, the Philadelphia Traffic Court has demonstrated a remarkable ability to be the center of scandal after scandal, some criminal in nature and others the result of basic incompetence,” Pileggi said. “The court has proven to be immune to all reform efforts.”