We should all be able to get from Point A to Point B without experiencing unnecessary interactions with police. Unfortunately, drivers in Vermont are pulled over at rates far higher than the national average, and the statistics are even worse for drivers of color.
Under a "Smarter Stops" bill (H.176 or S.257), low-level violations such as a broken taillight or an obscured license plate – reasons that Black drivers are disproportionately stopped – would no longer serve as a legal reason for law enforcement to pull someone over. The legislation would reduce discriminatory practices on the road, improve community safety, and better define the role of police in our communities.
Traffic stops are the most common way that people interact with law enforcement – yet these stops can be far from routine. They can lead to fines, searches, and arrests, and to physical harm, disproportionately impacting Black and Brown drivers.
By making smarter stops, Vermont can protect the safety and liberty of everyone on the road. Contact your legislators today and stay tuned for how you can get further involved during the 2024 legislative session.