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Lights Out on Racism

This program provides free exterior light inspection and bulb replacement for our BIPOC and low-income community

Lights Out On Racism is a proactive strategy to identify and repair any safety concerns that can cause someone to be pulled over. This program will reduce the likelihood that our BIPOC and low-income community members will be targeted by discriminatory policing. Systemic racism creates an environment where our BIPOC community members are disproportionately targeted and stopped by police for minor violations such as burnt-out taillights or headlights. In Washington, State Patrol data shows that officers searched the vehicles of Black drivers at twice the rate we would expect based on the proportion of Black people in the population, even though white drivers were more likely to have contraband found when searched. Unfortunately, we have witnessed time and again how traffic stops can quickly turn into a life-and-death situation for Black and Brown Washingtonians, like Giovonn Joseph McDade, Jenoah Donald, and Iosia Faletogo, and hundreds of others throughout the country. Traffic citations can cause an economic crisis with the cost of the ticket, missed work for court dates, increased auto insurance costs, etc. We also want to partner with City agencies in Seattle, like the Department of Transportation and the Police Department to create a program where instead of a costly citation, folks can receive a free repair voucher to Auto Repair Transformation to address the repairs needed to keep their vehicle safe on the road. Auto Repair Transformation is committed to doing what it can to create more equity and more safety for our BIPOC community. In addition to performing free bulb replacement, we provide resources including “Know your rights in a traffic stop,” “How to be an ally when you see someone pulled over,” “Additional vehicle issues that can lead to getting pulled over needlessly/being targeted,” and “legal resources.” For more information about racial profiling in traffic stops and the harms it causes, here are just a few resources: Traffic Safety for All Washingtonians, (ACLU-WA);  CNN – “…black motorist are more likely to be pulled over” ;The Marshall Project – “Driving while black” ; PBS documentary “Driving while Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America