Virginia Democrats endanger all people by trying to protect “people of color” from the law. People will die as a result.
Operating a vehicle at 2300 hours with non-functioning tail or brake lights? Virginia law will now “prohibit police from making traffic stops when they see vehicles with non-functioning brake and tail lights…”.
The legislation cleared both chambers over strong opposition from Republican lawmakers, who have called the Democrats’ police reform agenda an affront to the law enforcement community. “I feel we’re villainizing our police departments,” said Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach.
Meanwhile police have argued the bill will make roads more dangerous and hamper their investigations.
“Does anybody really think that it’s appropriate or safe for a vehicle on Interstate 95 to be travelling without tail lights at 11 at night?” Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said last month. “Does anybody not think that law enforcement should deal with that situation?”
By Ned Oliver – October 2, 2020
Legislation banning police from initiating searches based on the smell of marijuana and making traffic stops for an array of minor infractions is heading to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk after clearing the General Assembly on Friday.
The bill is among the first in a wide-ranging package of police reforms to win final passage in the House and Senate during a special legislative session that began in August.
“A disproportionate number of people pulled over for minor traffic offenses tend to be people of color, this is a contributor to the higher incarceration rate among minorities,” said Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, who carried the bill in the House. Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, carried the legislation in the Senate.
If signed by Northam, the laws would prohibit police from making traffic stops when they see vehicles with non-functioning brake and tail lights, a broken or loud exhaust system, tinted windows, objects dangling from a rearview mirror, someone smoking in a car with a minor present or a state inspection that is less than four months past its expiration date.
The violations remain on the books, but police could only issue citations if a driver is stopped for a more serious infraction, such as speeding or reckless driving. The legislation also reduces jaywalking to a secondary offense.
Lawmakers argued police often use the violations as a pretext to stop and search people they suspect of other crimes, enabling racial profiling.