Regarding the Glaring Absence of Annual Motor Vehicle Safety Inspections


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 “Along Party Lines, State Advances Bill to Ban Low-Level Traffic Stops,” (News, March 29), brings to mind the glaring absence of annual motor vehicle safety inspections. Many states require vehicles to be checked for basic safety items — such as good brakes and steering and fully functioning exterior lights. Here is an opportunity for Connecticut to establish that requirement. In addition to being much-needed on its own, it would help address well-founded concerns about possible racially motivated misuse of police discretion in making so-called low-level traffic stops. I agree with those concerns. But regardless of whether safety inspections are introduced, this legislation should be narrowly worded so that major observable safety hazards — headlights, brake lights and taillights that are not working — remain violations that warrant a primary police stop. Those are not low-level issues.

Martin J. Waters
Wallingford, Connecticut