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aintjoan t1_j5jg8yx wrote

NOTHING in the driver equality bill says the police can't pull people over for blasting through traffic lights, speeding like demons, or driving recklessly. Here is what the bill actually says. Under the law, drivers can no longer be stopped for:

  • Vehicle registrations expired for 60 days or less.
  • Temporary registration permits that are in the wrong location, but otherwise clearly displayed in the rear window.
  • Unfastened registration plates, as long as they are still visible.
  • A single brake or headlight out.
  • Other obstructions, like rearview mirror decorations.
  • Minor bumper damage.
  • Operation of vehicle without official certificate of inspection.
  • Unlawful operation without evidence of emission inspection.

Please show me where it says this stops the police from enforcing traffic laws. It doesn't. But someone points to it every time someone else points out that the police in this city aren't doing their damn jobs.

Yes, I, an ordinary citizen, am sick and tired of the police force in this city refusing to do one of the simplest things they could do to save lives: enforce traffic laws. People who die from being hit by reckless drivers are just as dead as people who get shot, and let's be honest, the PPD's homicide clearance rate is already crap. If they devoted some resources to basic traffic enforcement -- ticketing for speeding, ticketing for blasting through red lights, ticketing for driving like a batshit lunatic down city streets -- they could save a hell of a lot more lives.


lordredsnake t1_j5k1nyl wrote

The inability for police to pull over unregistered cars, uninspected cars, and cars with obscured license plates removes a great deal of risk for unlicensed drivers to operate vehicles—drivers who shouldn't be behind the wheel for a multitude of reasons.

I see cars with obscured license plates flat out run solid red lights for blocks on a near daily basis.

It is a well-meaning law meant to address the real problem of pulling drivers over for all of the reasons you listed as pretext for racial profiling, but it has some very real unintended consequences. People respond to incentives.

Couple that with a soft strike by the police, and it's chaos. Because I've seen those cars run red lights right in front of cops who don't do a damn thing about it anyway.


aintjoan t1_j5k2t59 wrote

The latter part of your statement is exactly why I'm saying the larger problem isn't the law itself. The police have responded to the law by choosing to stop enforcing all traffic laws. That's not what the law requires them to do; they're simply refusing to do their jobs because they don't like the bill.

Your first points are why I said that reasonable people can disagree about the law itself.

But again -- nothing stops the police from pulling over a driver for running a red light, for speeding, for driving recklessly -- whether their plate is covered, their car inspection is expired, their taillight is out, etc, or not. And the police are not doing that either.

The immediate fault lies with the people driving recklessly. But the average citizen can't do anything about that; we have to rely on the police to take action. And they're not doing that, even in the situations where they are empowered to. I don't think anyone here could say with a straight face that there is a shortage of flagrant traffic violations for them to see and respond to. They just don't.


lordredsnake t1_j5k43lq wrote

I've made the same post as yours in this sub many times, so I get it. I agree the law isn't the prime cause of the spike in recklessness, but it almost certainly is related.

Even if cops did want to do their jobs, we can't expect them to get all reckless drivers off the road just by observing the 1% of the time they're egregiously breaking the law instead of being able to respond to the 100% of the time they're breaking the law with fake or obscured tags.

People want to look at it like it's only one thing or the other, but the truth is in the middle.


JBizznass t1_j5k7axe wrote

If we want police to be proactive we can’t take away their tools that allow them to be proactive!

I understand the intent of the law, but removing tools that allow police to protect law abiding residents isn’t the way to foster equitable policing.


a-german-muffin t1_j5kc04j wrote

The kind of stuff scrapped in the Philly law is along the lines of NJ's license plate frame stops, which the state Supreme Court there called a total fishing expedition that has resulted in inadmissible evidence. If these are the kinds of tools cops need to do their jobs, when most of us could sit on our steps and count a dozen moving violations a day without even trying, that would seem to say more about the cops than the law.


Indiana_Jawns t1_j5kc3bz wrote

>The inability for police to pull over unregistered cars, uninspected cars, and cars with obscured license plates removes

The law doesn't say these cars can't be pulled over, it just says that can't be the only reason for the traffic stop. It's because the cops were using these as excuses to selectively target and harass minority drivers.


CT_Real t1_j5nhzpb wrote

>I see cars with obscured license plates flat out run solid red lights for blocks on a near daily basis.

Well they would still get pulled over for running a red light...


scatterbrainedpast t1_j5jqw5b wrote

How do you not see any overlap between the two


ReturnedFromExile t1_j5k3b91 wrote

overlap? The police just decided not to do some part of the job because they were told they can’t do another part of the job.


H00die5zn t1_j5jgpsf wrote

“Driving Equality reclassifies seven minor motor vehicle code violations as secondary violations which will not be administered with a traffic stop”



JBizznass t1_j5k7ias wrote

I always love when people downvote factual statements and links to informational sources on this sub. Like why are you downvoting facts?!?


H00die5zn t1_j5k7pxs wrote

Haha idk. Herd mentality? Not worth the pushback


Phl_worldwide t1_j5jgell wrote

Those are all things that criminals and terrible people use to get away with illegal shit


aintjoan t1_j5jgw4g wrote

Not a single one of those things prevents a police officer from pulling people over for the kinds of flagrant violations that are causing hit-and-run crashes.

You can debate whether the bill itself was a good idea. Reasonable people can disagree about that. But it does not prevent the police from doing traffic enforcement. The fact that they have essentially stopped all traffic enforcement in response to it is... well. Let's just say, I think it sums up the issues with the PPD and FOP quite well.


[deleted] t1_j5jhjxd wrote



aintjoan t1_j5ji1t6 wrote

[Removing this comment because it was a reply to a comment that's no longer here and makes no sense without context]


justanawkwardguy t1_j5k716c wrote

It's not about the police stopping them though. Yes, police need to do their jobs and actually pull people over for flagrant violations, however, the bill also made it so idiotic drivers think they can do anything. Even if it's outside of what the bill was for, people who actively choose to drive recklessly see the bill as making their behaviors ok


aintjoan t1_j5kby94 wrote

I think the fact that nobody is stopping them for doing 90mph down city streets or blasting through red lights without a second thought is doing a lot more to tell them their behavior is ok. Serious question: how many of the people we're discussing do you really think are aware of a bill that came out of Philly City council and what it says? Do you think the folks racing Dodge Chargers on Delaware Ave were waiting for an all clear from city council? Reckless driving behavior was already present. It exploded when the police stopped pulling them over for it, which was after the bill was passed, because the police didn't like the bill.

We're kind of at an impasse at this point, I think, because we don't have the kind of data analysis necessary to figure out the nuances of causation. The one thing I keep coming back to is that the police ARE the only ones who can enforce existing traffic law and they are NOT doing it. If that changed, it stands to reason the behavior would be reduced.


AKraiderfan t1_j5kcrk3 wrote

it only takes marginal enforcement to stop 90% of dumb fucks from thinking they can get away with shit.

Case in point: Seattle has jaywalking laws, and everyone mostly follows it. How often is this law enforced? averages out about 170 jaywalking tickets per year in the past decade. 170 tickets a year, in a metro area of 4mm people, a laughably small number, but keeps much of the population from jaywalking.

Fucking pull over 100 cars a year, and you'll get assholes calling PPD nazis, but probably reduce a whole bunch of bad driving for that comically small number of actual enforcement.


CT_Real t1_j5ni1xf wrote

90% of people in the city have no knowledge of this law...


TheTwoOneFive t1_j5jp7cd wrote

Criminals and terrible people use minor bumper damage to get away with illegal shit? Can you walk me through that thought process?


Phl_worldwide t1_j5jpfoa wrote

You print a fake paper plate out. Put it on a stolen vehicle. Commit a hit and run with it. Commit a robbery. Then you can just drive away, no worry of cameras because it’s a fake plate and you know your safe in Philly


Little_Noodles t1_j5kj7fs wrote

You could do that with fake temporary dealer tags before the bill too, though.


lordredsnake t1_j5k2347 wrote


Phl_worldwide t1_j5k3qte wrote

I would bet a lot of Down voters voted for the politicans who implemented the laws that are suffocating the poor communities. Their performative politics are harming the city but instead of readjusting their perspective, it just makes them feel better to hit the down vote button.


TheTwoOneFive t1_j5k5nih wrote

That has absolutely nothing to do with the 8 items above. Yes, the police need to do a better job enforcing fake plates, but has ZERO to do with the above items.

Again, you said the items exempt from being the primary reason someone is pulled over "are all things that criminals and terrible people use to get away with illegal shit" so I would love to see examples, such as how minor bumper damage is being used to get away with illegal shit. Stop moving the goalposts.