San Antonio drivers with broken lights will receive replacements vouchers instead of citations

San Antonio will be the first Texas city to participate in the privately funded Lights On! program.

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click to enlarge Police Chief William McManus explains details of the Lights on! program during a public safety committee meeting on Jan. 17. - Screengrab/ City of San Antonio
Screengrab/ City of San Antonio
Police Chief William McManus explains details of the Lights on! program during a public safety committee meeting on Jan. 17.
Some San Antonio drivers with busted tail lights won’t be getting a citation but a replacement voucher under a new initiative that takes aim at the city's cycle of poverty and unnecessary traffic stops.

The San Antonio Police Department is participating in the national Lights On! initiative, Chief William McManus said at Tuesday's city council public safety committee meeting.

The program is a Minneapolis-based initiative launched after the death of Philando Castile, a Black man shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer after being pulled over for a faulty tail light.

More than 140 police departments across 17 states are participating in the program, according to the Lights On! website. San Antonio will be the first in Texas to join.

Instead of writing tickets for burnt-out automobile lamps, which can be burdensome for low-income families in car-dependent cities, officers will give drivers pulled over on San Antonio's South, East and West sides $250 to cover a replacement. Drivers can redeem the vouchers at participating service centers.

Private donors such as Target and a handful of NFL teams — including the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars — fund the program, meaning no taxpayer dollars are spent on the replacements. Locally, grocer H-E-B has allocated $20,000, enough for 80 vouchers.

District 1 City Councilman Mario Bravo lauded the Lights On! Program on Twitter, saying it will offer relief for San Antonio's low-income motorists.
Lights On! plans to announce deals by March with local auto-repair centers participating in the program, officials said.

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