Philadelphia becomes first large city to ban stops for minor traffic violations

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PHILADELPHIA (NewsNation Now) — A historic piece of legislation in Philadelphia is putting the brakes on police pulling over drivers for minor infractions.

The city council passed a bill that bans traffic stops for minor violations, such as having a broken taillight or not having certain stickers displayed. Drivers who are guilty of those minor violations will instead receive a warning or a citation in the mail.

“So that an expired license plate or fuzzy dice in the mirror isn’t a death sentence that it can be in some cases,” said Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr., who is a co-sponsor of the Driving Equality Bill.

Jones said the city reviewed 2.8 million stops and found that Philadelphia police pull over a disproportionate number of black drivers for minor violations.

“People of color were found to be three times more likely to be stopped by police, and in particular ZIP codes, in areas, for traveling through non-minority areas,” Jones said.

The bill now goes to Mayor Jim Kenney, who is expected to sign it into law.

The police department will have 120 days for training and education before the changes begin.

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