DSA Los Angeles Brake Light Clinic
A simple traffic stop is many people’s entrypoint into California’s devastating criminal justice system. California’s traffic ticket fees are the highest in the country and are compounded by substantial penalties for failing to appear, causing many to lose their licenses or go bankrupt. In the worst cases, minor infractions such as broken brake lights are used as a pretext to harass, imprison, deport, or even kill people. And these burdens are not shared equally: studies have found that police disproportionately stop Latinx and African American drivers.
But with a little training, elbow grease, and supplies, we can fix broken brake lights and prevent this common pretext for traffic stops. DSA-LA members have been training up on how to change brake lights and working with community groups to provide mechanic, legal, and know-your-rights resources to anyone who comes to get their bulb changed.
Any funds raised over the amount needed for our first clinic will enable us to put on follow up clinics in more regions of LA County, as well as offer additional mutual aid projects.
Want to learn more?
Paying More for Being Poor – Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights
Stopped, Fined, Arrested – East Bay Community Law Center
Ability to Pay Implementation Toolkit– a resource to help legal services providers, public defenders, and self-represented court users advocate for full legal protection for traffic court and ticket fees
Not Just a Ferguson Problem: How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California– Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights