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N.J. Lawmakers Seek To Give Cops More Authority To Ticket For Broken Brake Lights

State Sen: 'It Doesn't Have To Be A Ticket. It's Officer's Discretion'
Brake lights illuminated as traffic backs up at a toll plaza. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Brake lights illuminated as traffic backs up at a toll plaza. (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – There’s legislation in the New Jersey State House which would give police more power to ticket drivers if their vehicle lights are out.

Following passage in a state Senate committee, the bill now goes to the full Senate to vote on whether to give police the option to cite drivers for having any non-working vehicle lights, including the third brake light in the rear window.

“They’re much easier to see than the tail lights under many conditions, so keeping it in repair makes driving safer,” North Bergen State Sen. Nicholas Sacco told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney. “It doesn’t have to be a ticket. It’s officer’s discretion under those conditions, just as it would be for a tail light.”

The measure picked up steam after learning that officers do not have the right under state law to stop drivers for that third light being out.

A judge recently ruled the arrest of a man with drugs in the car was wrong because cops stopped him for the rear window light being out. The drug charges were thrown out as a result.

The bill has already passed in the state Assembly.

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