Philly bans traffic stops for minor infractions

Officers can still stop drivers for violations that impact public safety, like running a red light


By Suzie Ziegler 

PHILADELPHIA — On Thursday, the Philadelphia City Council passed a measure that bans police officers from stopping drivers based solely on minor traffic violations, reported WHYY

The measure still allows police to stop drivers for violations that could compromise public safety, like running a red light, according to the report. 

Under the bill, police can no longer pull over drivers for these sole offenses: 

  • Driving with a single broken brake light 

  • Driving without an inspection or emissions sticker 

  • Having a registration plate that’s not clearly displayed, fastened or visible 

  • Bumper issues 

  • Driving with a single headlight or minor obstruction 

  • Driving without vehicle registration within 60 days of the observed infraction 

Instead, drivers would receive a warning or citation in the mail for these violations, the report says. 

Philadelphia Police voiced support for the bill during a September hearing, according to the report. 

“This is not stopping police officers from making legitimate public safety stops,” said Francis Healy, a spokesperson for Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “If I have a reasonable suspicion or probable cause you’re involved in criminal activity, I can make the stop.” 

NEXT: State your case: Do we need traffic cops?

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