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An Act to Make Certain Traffic Infractions Secondary Offenses

Pending

Overview

On March 3, 2022, Mary L. Bonauto submitted testimony on behalf of GLAD, MaineTrans.Net, and Equality Maine in support of LD 1479, An Act to Make Certain Traffic Infractions Secondary Offenses.

LD 1479 lists certain offenses as not a justification for a traffic stop: littering, failing to register or display a registration, failing to display an inspection sticker, and some equipment issues. This bill would provide one way to proactively address harms and build equity into a law enforcement area that often involves racial profiling and can lead to escalation. Traffic stops are the most common form of law enforcement interaction with the American public, and officers disproportionately stop and cite Black, Brown, and Indigenous drivers.

Limiting traffic infraction stops that too often serve as pretext for searches and arrests is one of many necessary steps to disrupt patterns of oppression and violence in policing to historically marginalized people.