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State lawmaker introduces bill on traffic stop guidelines

Posted at 8:20 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 23:42:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — When lawmakers return to the state capitol next month, they will be discussing a wide range of topics, one of them being traffic stops.

State Senator Brenda Gilmore introduced Senate Bill 1554. The legislation will require peace officer standards and training (POST) commission to study and make recommendations on how vehicle drivers and passengers should behave when stopped by a police officer.

Gilmore says the recommendations must include, but are not limited to, best practices for: (1) How a driver or passenger should address a police officer; (2) How a driver or passenger should use their hands, including whether or not a driver or passenger should reach for anything prior to being told to do so by a police officer; and (3) Safe places to pull over a vehicle.

"I just think there is some things we can do to help our young people and our citizens of Nashville be safer, create a better relationship with law enforcement; and I think when that trust goes up as whole Nashville will be better for it," said Gilmore.

The senator says after the deaths of two young men in Nashville who ran from police after a traffic stop she wanted to do more to educate drivers on their rights.

"I wanted to accomplish two goals; I wanted to ensure that we did everything we can to make sure that our young people in particularly get home safely," said Gilmore. "The other is to make sure that they are aware, educated if they do get stopped by law enforcement that they should be honest with their parents and not sign anything admitting to a crime that they may not be guilty of."

The bill says the POST commission must provide the recommendations to the department of safety by December 1, 2020.

The department of safety will then Include and print the recommendations in the Tennessee Comprehensive Driver License Manual printed in starting in year 2021.