Pittsburgh city council passes bill to ban traffic stops for secondary violations
The bill would prohibit police from making stops for things such as a broken tail light, the location of a registration plate or an out-of-date inspection certification
By Julian Routh
PITTSBURGH — Hoping to cut down on traffic stops that advocates say heighten the risk for negative interactions between police officers and citizens, Pittsburgh City Council voted on Tuesday to prohibit officers from pulling over drivers for secondary violations.
In an 8-to-1 vote just minutes after numerous members of the public and advocates asked for more input into the legislation, the city’s nine-member council opted to move forward with the limit on secondary violation enforcement, which would make it so drivers can no longer be stopped for things such as a broken tail light, the location of a registration plate or an out-of-date inspection certification.
The bill won’t take effect for 120 days, council members said, in an effort to give the public time to respond, incoming Mayor Ed Gainey the opportunity to review and the police bureau the time to train its officers.
The text of the bill notes that other municipalities have “begun changing their enforcement policies to ensure that policing resources are used to protect public safety and not to penalize people for being poor, who, in all too many cases, are people of color.”
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