New Maine Bill To Limit Police Power To Pull Over Vehicles
A new bill proposed by Democratic Representative Victoria Morales-South Portlandwould remove law enforcement's ability to pull over vehicles for minor infractions according to a report by centralmaine.com.
Rep. Morales indicated in her proposed bill, L.D. 1479, that infractions such as:
- Seat belt and child safety seat violations
- Operating after suspension for nonpayment of a fine
- Failing to renew a vehicle registration
- Operating an uninspected vehicle, if there is no clear visual imminent safety problem
- Obstructing the view of the operator by hanging an object from the rearview mirror
- Obscuring a window by tinting the glass
- Making excessive or unusual noise
- Improperly displaying a registration plate
- Having a registration plate covered by mud, snow or inclement weather
- Defective plate light
- Driving in the left lane without passing
would no longer be a reason to pull over a vehicle, instead she proposes that these violations would only be able to be cited if the driver broke another more serious law. Simply, the reasons noted above could not be the primary reason for stopping a vehicle should this bill becomes a law.
The South Portland Representative indicates that the reasoning behind the bill is to lower the incidence of racial profiling by Police Departments, and also to stop the majority of pretextual traffic stops where a person is pulled over for something minor to allow an officer to validate a suspicion of an additional more serious crime.
Police have indicated that such a law would ultimately make Maine roads less safe, and take away their ability to curb drunk driving and other more serious crimes.
Other groups including the Maine Medical Association and the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety, have went on record stating that could lead to more injuries, and deaths.