Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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Stopped in Savannah for broken taillight or turn signal? Here's good news.

Tail lights

Photo: Getty Images

The Chatham County Police Department has become the first law enforcement agency in Georgia to partner with the national ‘Lights On!’ program that provides vouchers for car repairs – instead of tickets -- for violations like broken tail lights and signals that can result in a traffic stop.

‘Lights On!’ is a community funded program that partners with law enforcement and local auto repair businesses to provide the vouchers and needed services. When an officer stops a motorist for a vehicle violation like a broken tail light or turn signal, they can provide the driver with a voucher to have the issue repaired at a local business. That voucher is covered by nonprofit Lights On!, a group Chatham County Commissioner Kenneth Adams thought might be a good fit for the county.

“The Lights On! program is a way to build relationships between police departments and the communities they serve,” said Sherman Patterson, Vice President of Lights On!. “Instead of punishing drivers for broken lights, we can fix the mechanical issue and mitigate what often becomes a downward spiral for community members in need.” In addition to boosting community, police relations, Lights On! reps say the vouchers they pay for keep families from getting into financial holes.

“It’s about $176 for a taillight out. That would be the court cost plus the fine for the violation. So, think of, I’m faced with spending $176 plus having to go get my violation fixed, or I’m given a voucher by law enforcement, and I get it fixed for free, I don’t get a citation and we all walk away better served. Because at the end of the day, all we want is compliance,” Chief Hadley said.

“A tail light or break light violation fine can be a major expense for many in our community,” said Chatham County Police Chief Jeff Hadley. “When we can give someone a voucher for a minor auto repair that gets them back in compliance – instead of a citation with a fine – that is a great example of the community policing mission that our department is built on.” CCPD wrote drivers around 400 citations for mechanical related issues last year.

Participating Lights On! Auto Repair Shops in Chatham County are:

AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care

Auto Intensive Care

Automotive Services of Savannah

Mitchell’s Auto Shop

Scorpion Motorsports

You can find more info here

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