95 people are considering running for Traffic Court

Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

We thought it was a lot two weeks ago when we reported that 58 people had picked up the nomination petitions needed to qualify for the ballot this year to win one of three available seats on Philadelphia Traffic Court. The City Commission, which runs elections in the city, was informed this morning that the number has jumped to 95.

It's not clear if the three seats on the court will even exist as of the May 21 primary election or the Nov. 5 general election.  The state Senate last month approved legislation to get rid of those three seats as part of a plan to abolish Traffic Court.  The state House is now considering that legislation.

Federal prosecutors filed charges last month against nine current and former Traffic Court judges, fueling calls for reform legislation that would drop the job into the hands of hearing examiners at Municipal Court.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. next Tuesday, March 12, to file petitions.  The drawing to determine the ballot positions for candidates will be held on March 20.  As of Wednesday morning, only one of the 95 people had turned in their nomination petitions for Traffic Court.  The job pays $91,052 and candidates do not have to be an attorney.