Montgomery County bill limiting traffic stops to be introduced

A bill limiting traffic stops in Montgomery County will be introduced to the Council Tuesday. The Safety and Traffic Equity in Policing (STEP) Act would prevent a police officer from making a traffic stop for numerous offenses.

FOX 5's Maureen Umeh says the goal of the bill is to promote fairness and safety by limiting traffic stops by Montgomery County Police, and instead work on community policing relationships.

The STEP Act which was introduced by council member Will Jawando, and co-sponsored by council member Kristen Mink, would prohibit Montgomery County Police from making traffic stops for certain traffic offenses by a police officer like:

- Licensing and registration

- Certificate of title or insurance

- Window tinting and

- Defective headlamp or taillight and

- Jaywalking

It would also prohibit consent searches of a vehicle by a police officer, require the collection of data and information related to traffic stops, and exclude the limitations on traffic stops from collective bargaining.

The bill is a response to a report by the council's Office of Legislative Oversight finding "wide disparities in police interactions by race and ethnicity," Umeh says.

The legislation will be introduced Tuesday. A public hearing is scheduled for July 19.