Wash. bill would change when police officers could stop drivers

House Bill 1513 will rearrange the order of priority for the types of stops that police make to focus on safety issues like DUI, distracted driving, speeding, etc.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bill aimed at reducing inequities in stopping traffic and increasing safety on the roads had a hearing before the committee on Monday.

House Bill 1513, also known as Traffic Safety For All, will reorder the types of stops police make to focus on safety issues like DUI, distracted driving and running. over speed.

Advocates say the change will help increase safety. Research from the Washington Transportation Safety Board shows that deaths increase when officers make fewer citations about safety-related issues.

The bill says a police officer cannot stop a driver for a non-moving violation, such as expired tags, a misdemeanor punishment or equipment failure unless it poses a threat. Instant safety on the road. In addition to enhancing road safety, this will also combat racial inequality, the Washington Police Accountability Coalition said.

According to an analysis by InvestigateWest in 2019, Washington State Patrol soldiers searched for Black, Hispanic and Pacific Islander drivers nearly twice as often as white drivers. , but found a lower rate of contraband. .

The bill states that police officers would be required to notify dispatch of the reason for stopping the vehicle, notify the driver and any occupants of the reason on first contact and must report a certain information whenever they stop or detain a driver.

RELATED: Read the full text of HB 1513

Several representatives from law enforcement organizations raised concerns about the bill, saying no-move violations could create a safety hazard on the road.

“Each one of those laws has the name of a family next door where they may have lost a loved one,” says Jeff DeVere.

DeVere, who speaks on behalf of the Washington Police and Sheriff’s Council, said his organization has “major concerns” with the proposal.

Captain Neil Weaver of the Washington State Patrol said no-move violations have resulted in drug and drunk driving arrests.

He said that between 2018 and 2022, 8% of drunk driving arrests began as a result of idle traffic violations.

Weaver also said stopping traffic helps build trust between soldiers and drivers.

“While device failure is not the core goal of WSP, it is an effective safety tool that we often use as an educational opportunity,” Weaver said, “to ensure telling a small thing not to become a bigger thing.”

In addition to prioritizing stop-and-go police types, the bill would also create a program of funding for local initiatives to reduce no-move violations in low-income communities. This can include programs that offer coupons for helmets or repairs, compensation programs, etc.

Law enforcement representatives said they support the part of the bill that would create funding to help low-income drivers pay off their no-move fines.

Twenty-three cosponsors introduced House bill, along with Senate Bill 5572 introduced by seven cosponsors. The bill has support from about 60 organizations, including Washington’s ACLU, Washington’s CAIR and Washington’s AAA.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/state-politics/washington-state-house-bill-1513-traffic-stops-fatalities-racial-equity/281-89036c2b-51a6-4ded-aa60-b0ce24732aca Wash. bill would change when police officers could stop drivers

Edmund DeMarche

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