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No more driving while Black.

The City Council of Philadelphia is also in line with passing the ‘Driving Equality Bill’. City Council member Isaiah Thomas wrote the bill aimed at combating the practice of police officers making traffic stops for “driving while Black” offenses such as broken taillights. Along with the California Governor, Gavin Newsom, The city of Philadelphia will now observe ways to make positive changes for residents.

Black drivers in the city accounted for 72 percent of those stopped for vehicle code violations over a recent one-year span — despite accounting for just 43 percent of Philadelphia’s population, according to data supplied by Councilman Isaiah Thomas, who wrote the bill.

The Philadelphia City Council voted 14-2 on Thursday to pass the ‘Driving Equality Bill’ — created to reduce “unequal police practices” against minority drivers, or what’s been called “driving while black,” for minor offenses such as busted tail lights or expired inspection stickers. This week was monumental in Philadelphia as a bill has gone into effect to deescalate issues between divers and law enforcement during traffic stops, making Philadelphia the first major city to issue a bill like this of its kind!

For clarification of this bill, citations of violations will be mailed to those with driving violations rather than being stopped and pulled over by police.

“To many people who look like me, a traffic stop is a rite of passage — we pick out cars, we determine routes, we plan our social interactions around the fact that it is likely that we will be pulled over by police,” said Council member Isaiah Thomas.

According to @6abcactionnews , the Philadelphia City Council passed the Driving Equality Bill on Thursday. The bill will change the way police make traffic stops with one primary goal at hand, closing racial inequities. Reports say that Philly is a city where people of color are 3.4 times more likely to be pulled over than white residents.

According to the New York Post, “These bills end the traffic stops that promote discrimination while keeping the traffic stops that promote public safety,” the city council said in a statement. “This approach seeks to redirect police time and resources towards keeping Philadelphians safe while removing negative interactions that widen the divide and perpetuate mistrust.”

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

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