The Brake Light Clinic project:
ABL seeks to help the community protect itself from unnecessary traffic stops by fixing a common problem before it can become a target for the police. Equipment violations, such as a burned-out brake light, are the second-most common justification for stops. Although these minor infractions usually result in fines rather than jail time, they can quickly become a much bigger problem as fees begin to compound, or worse. As we know, the tragic stories of many people, such as Sandra Bland and Philando Castile, began with a questionable traffic stop.
This burden falls inordinately on the poor and communities of color. In Oakland, for example, black motorists make up nearly two-thirds of traffic stops, according to data released by the Oakland Police Department. This is despite black citizens making up only 27 percent of the population, and despite these stops resulting in citation at the lower rate than any other demographic.
Broken brake lights are an all-too-common reason for traffic stops and tickets which put strain on our neighbors who are least able to bear the cost. The idea of a free repair clinic originated in New Orleans, where the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America successfully hosted a free brake light replacement clinic last September.
Alameda Brake Light Repair Clinic Event:
ABL is hosting a repair clinic here in Alameda on April 15. Volunteers should come and be trained on how to change brake lights between 9:30 and 11am that day. We will then offer free brake light repairs from 11am to 2pm. Please contact us at wendym at gmail dot com if you would like to volunteer for the Brake Light Clinic day.
We also need volunteers to direct traffic, hold signs, and promote the event - please reach out to us to get involved!