Ticket-fixing indictment ‘accelerates’ push to abolish Traffic Court, says state senate majority leader [Updated]

Three weeks ago, Delaware County Republican Dominic Pileggi called for the dismantling of Philadelphia’s Traffic Court.

The state-senate majority leader said there is no reason to keep, or attempt to reform, “an institution with a multi-generational tradition of dysfunction.”

Early Thursday afternoon, after getting word of indictments related to an alleged ticket-fixing scandal, he discussed legislation he is co-sponsoring in an effort to shutter the troubled Traffic Court.

“I think the most noteworthy [detail] since I circulated a memo seeking co-sponsors is that there’s not a single member who publicly defended the status quo of the Traffic Court,” Pileggi said. “I would have expected there to be at least a handful of people who would have tried to present some defense of the status quo. I’m pleased by that. The status quo is indefensible.”

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As for the indictment, Pileggi said “it confirms my initial suspicion. Traffic Court is not worth saving.” Thursday’s news “accelerates the process. … [T]he reform timeline much more condensed now.”

Pileggi’s spokesman Erik Arneson said the “two-bill package has six co-sponsors, none of whom represents a portion of Philadelphia.” However, others could sign on as co-sponsors before the bills are introduced.

UPDATE: Pileggi introduced the bills on Friday (PDF1 and PDF2). SB 333 and SB 334 have been added to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for discussion on Tuesday.

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