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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JEROME R. VISHNESKI (01/06/89)

filed: January 6, 1989.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JEROME R. VISHNESKI, APPELLANT



Appeal from Judgment of Sentence March 8, 1988, in the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, Criminal No. 2030-87.

COUNSEL

Frank W. Hayes, West Chester, for appellant.

Thomas J. Wagner, Assistant District Attorney, Phoenixville, for Com., appellee.

Olszewski, Del Sole and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Olszewski

[ 380 Pa. Super. Page 496]

This is an appeal from judgment of sentence in the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County entered against appellant for violation of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3361. Appellant contends that the trial court erred in: (1) admitting into evidence the arresting officer's testimony regarding a VASCAR-Plus unit speed-timing taken over a distance of less than one-tenth mile, and (2) finding appellant guilty of 75

[ 380 Pa. Super. Page 497]

Pa.C.S.A. § 3361. For the reasons below, we affirm the trial court.

On March 22, 1987, appellant was driving north on Route 202 between Paoli Pike and Route 322 in Chester County. Officer Miller observed appellant's car in front of him traveling at a high rate of speed. Consequently, Officer Miller followed appellant's car for a distance of 0.0938 mile and timed the vehicle using a VASCAR-Plus speed-timing device. Appellant's car was timed at 84.5 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone. Thereafter, Officer Miller arrested appellant and charged him with violation of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3361, driving vehicle at unsafe speed.

Appellant was found guilty by the District Justice and appealed to the Court of Common Pleas. After a de novo trial, appellant was found guilty. Following denial of post-trial motions, appellant was sentenced to pay the statutory fine of $25, plus court costs and the statutory emergency fund fine of $10. This timely appeal follows.

Appellant first maintains that the trial judge erred in admitting into evidence the arresting officer's testimony regarding a VASCAR-Plus unit speed reading taken over a distance of less than one-tenth mile. Specifically, appellant contends that the testimony is inadmissible because the procedure used by the arresting officer is contrary to the one-tenth mile calibration requirement found in 67 Pa.Code § 105.95 and contrary to the holding of Commonwealth v. Alexion, 33 Ches.Co.Rep. 37 (1984). In Alexion, supra, the trial court "[found] the 1/10 of a mile calibration to be reasonable and conclude[d] that it should also apply, as a minimum standard, to the use of VASCAR-PLUS." Id. at 38.

In reviewing appellant's contention, we turn to the applicable statutory provisions to determine the legislative intent regarding the use of a VASCAR-Plus unit. In ascertaining the legislature's intent, we are mindful that "[w]hen the words of a statute are clear and free from all ambiguity, the letter of it is not to be disregarded under the pretext of pursuing its spirit," 1 Pa.C.S.A. § 1921(b), and "[e]very

[ 380 Pa. Super. Page 498]

    statute shall be construed, if possible, to give effect to all its provisions." 1 Pa.C.S.A. § 1921(a). Section 3368 of the 1976 Vehicle Code, as amended, governs the use ...


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