RICHMOND, Va.- Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has sent a bill that would forbid police from pulling over vehicles with various equipment violations back to the House of Delegates for minor tweaks.
The governor said his reason for not signing the bill is because he’s concerned some language could prevent authorities from pulling over vehicles for serious safety concerns. The Governor’s main hang up was forbidding cops from stopping individuals with no headlights or brake lights at night.
The bill, HB5058, would forbid Virginia’s law enforcement from stopping vehicles with broken tag lights, broken lights, expired inspections, illegal exhaust systems and more.
Proponents say the laws are needed because these stops disproportionately affect minorities.
Opponents of the bill say stops triggered by these equipment violations often times lead to the removal of dangerous drivers, such as drunk drivers, from the road.
Governor Northam’s amendments will be considered by the House of Delegates and likely sent back for his signature.
Virginia Democrats used a special session called by the Governor intended to focus on the budget in the wake of COVID-19 to enact a wide range of laws on their wish list.