The City of Philadelphia is poised to ban police officers from making routine traffic stops to promote “driving equity,” making it the first major American city to cease stopping motorists for broken taillights and other minor issues.
“The Driving Equality Bill, passed earlier this month by the city council, could be signed as early as this week by Mayor Jim Kenney,” reports the New York Post. “The package of bills would classify vehicle registration infractions, broken brake lights and flouting inspection evidence regulations as ‘secondary’ violations, meaning police would be prohibited from pulling motorists over if those traffic infractions are observed.”
“The measure is aimed at easing tensions between police and black Philadelphians, who are more likely to be stopped by police, according to a data analysis by the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Black drivers, who make up 48 percent of Philadelphia’s population, were pulled over in 72 percent of the roughly 300,000 traffic stops between October 2018 and September 2019, according to the group,” adds the Post.
The policy is designed to promote "driving equity" and engender more favorable police -community relations.
Mayor Jim Kenney is anticipated to sign the legislation, which the Philadelphia City Council approved, during the first week of November.https://t.co/ezoXIVT6DP
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 1, 2021
#DrivingEquality reinforces that public safety can be achieved with other methods than traffic stops.
Traffic stops are traumatic for drivers and scary for police officers.
Limiting them makes everyone safer and communities stronger.https://t.co/l2wmrNmew6
— Councilmember Isaiah Thomas (@CMThomasPHL) October 31, 2021
“We want to put law enforcement in a position where they can spend more time focusing on more serious crimes,” said one city council member. “In the city of Philadelphia, we ask law enforcement to do a lot and we feel that this bill is a step in the right direction, not just to improve relations between communities of color and law enforcement but also to put us in a position where law enforcement can focus more time on more serious crimes.”
Read the full report at the NY Post.