Allegheny County

Pittsburgh city council votes to end traffic stops for minor violations

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police will be changing the way they have always done their jobs. They will no longer be allowed to make traffic stops for minor and secondary violations.

Some of those violations include having a tail light out, registration in the wrong place, or overdue registration.

Reverend Ricky Burgess introduced the legislation.

“I’m proud of council for being supportive of his legislations that we believe is common sense. It will help to increase police-community relationships, and give the community more confidence in the police,” Reverend Burgess told Channel 11.

Mayor Bill Peduto, who only has a few days left in office, agreed with the vote.

“Large number of traffic stops that are taking place are happening in predominately Black neighborhoods. And, they tend to lead into more serious incidents than a tail light that’s out, or somebody that runs a stop sign,” Mayor Peduto said.

However, during Tuesday’s city council meeting, community members pleaded for a public hearing to further discuss the legislation.

Councilman Anthony Coghill echoed their concerns, and was the only council member who voted against the bill.

“If we decided to vote this through today, what we are saying to the public, is we know better than you. We don’t need to hear from you, and we are just going to do it anyway. It’s irresponsible,” Coghill said during today’s meeting.

Despite the calls for a public hearing, the bill passed. Reverend Burgess told Channel 11 that there will be opportunities for the community to voice their opinions on police reform topics in 2022.

“In the new year, I expect to do more, so there will be plenty of time for post-agenda and public hearings in the new year. [We can] work together with community voices and all the citizens across the city,” Reverend Burgess said.