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Lawmakers advance measure that would limit certain traffic stops

<p>Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Cameron Bailey pulls over a driver for speeding while patrolling for distracted drivers along a section of Interstate 5 in an unmarked patrol vehicle on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, during a ride along.</p>
File photo
Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Cameron Bailey pulls over a driver for speeding while patrolling for distracted drivers along a section of Interstate 5 in an unmarked patrol vehicle on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, during a ride along.

The Oregon Senate voted Tuesday for a bill that would limit the number of reasons police officers could use to initiate a traffic stop.

Senate Bill 1510 is meant to address systemic racism experienced by people who are disproportionately pulled over for traffic violations. The measure would prohibit officers from stopping a driver for a single broken headlight or taillight, or three other minor infractions.

Senate Judiciary chair Floyd Prozanski, a Eugene Democrat, said officers could still write tickets for those offenses if they’ve pulled over someone for a moving violation, like speeding.

“What we’ve said is we’ve taken five of those small tools in the toolbox, and said you cannot stop someone primarily for that," he said. "That’s all we’re saying.”

Opponents said the bill would limit the ability of law enforcement to maintain public safety.

The measure narrowly passed the Senate and now heads to the Oregon House.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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