New Public Safety Program to Offer Free Vehicle Light Repair
A project piloted by the Columbus City Attorney’s Office and Franklin County Commissioners will help Columbus residents with repair services for broken taillights and the like.
Project Taillight, a program in partnership with Columbus State Community College, aims to improve public safety and crime prevention by providing low-income residents with headlight, taillight, license plate light, and/or turn signal repair services for free.
Franklin County residents in households with annual incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level are eligible to participate in this program.
“We know that non-violent crime is often linked to poverty and lack of economic opportunity, and the City Attorney’s Office remains committed to finding creative ways to reduce these avoidable interactions between neighbors and law enforcement,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein. “Our hope is that this program will help keep our neighbors safe and reduce traffic violations for small issues like a broken taillight or turn signal, giving police officers even more time to focus on more urgent, violent crime in our community.”
“Research shows there is an ever-increasing rise in residents facing financial challenges, these challenges are exasperated even further when our low-income neighbors are disproportionality impacted by non-moving traffic violations while driving to places like school or work,” said Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady. “The Project Taillight pilot program not only improves safety on our roads but lifts up those marginalized community members that are negatively impacted by these infractions and the criminal justice system.”
Vehicle repairs will be performed by Columbus State Automotive Technology program students. The pilot program has already held soft-launch events over the past few months, working through operational logistics.
Project Taillight is scheduled to run through the end of 2021, with a $50,000 budget from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners’ Office of Justice Policy and Programs, and others. The project has also received a $25,000 contribution from the Columbus Department of Public Safety general fund.
The next Project Taillight event will take place Tuesday, May 25.
To participate in the Project Taillight program, residents must be pre-registered through the Columbus City Attorney’s Office following the eligibility screening. For more information, call 614-702-7462 or email [email protected].