(RoyalPatriot.com )- Police officers in Philadelphia will soon no longer be allowed to pull over drivers for what are termed as minor traffic stops.
When the law takes effect — which will occur 120 days after the city’s Democratic mayor, Jim Kenney, signs the bill into law — cops won’t be able to pull people over for breaking certain laws. That includes having an expired inspection tag and having a busted tail light, among other infractions.
Those who back the bill say that black drivers are often disproportionately targeted and stopped while they’re driving.
The bill is called the Driving Equality Bill, and advocates say it will prevent officers from pulling people over for “driving while black.” Last Thursday, the City Council passed the bill by an overwhelming vote of 14-2.
The bill’s language said it was designed to “reduce disparate, unequal police practices in how minority motorists are stopped by police for minor offenses.”
Isaiah Thomas was the member of Council who originally proposed the bill. The language reads:
“Councilmember Thomas’s Driving Equality bills seek to address the tension between police and community members by removing negative interaction through minor traffic stops. These bills end the traffic stops that promote discrimination while keeping the traffic stops that promote public safety.”
Before the law goes into effect, all police officers in Philadelphia will be forced to go through “training and education” related to the bill and how to be more equitable and fair.
As Thomas said:
“Nothing in my bill will allow law enforcement to be handicapped when a crime is committed. I’m hoping this can be something historic.”
Philadelphia is seeing a huge spike in crimes being committed by people on off-road vehicles that are illegal. Large groups of people driving dirt bikes and ATVs have taken over city streets recently, going wherever they want to go without any remorse.
There have even been some instances of violence involving these people. Back in March, a person riding a dirt bike shot a driver while riding in South Philadelphia. In that incident, a group of dirt bikes surrounded the 25-year-old driver’s car, causing him to collide with one of the bikes.
The driver got out of the vehicle to see if everyone was OK, and he was promptly assaulted by the drivers of the dirt bikes. They also destroyed his car by throwing a cinder block on it.
A road rage incident in West Philadelphia in June resulted in a man being shot and killed by someone who was driving a dirt bike.
Those opposed to the new bill say that the increase in crimes related to vehicles are only going to increase with laws such as this. Bill McSwain, a former federal prosecutor who’s running for governor in Pennsylvania as a Republican, tweeted:
“A shameful day for Philly: it’s so-called leaders actively promote lawlessness and call it ‘equity.’ This type of ‘leadership’ is why the City is mired in crime and chaos.”