Rhode Islander out to prove the rights of out of state drivers

Colonel James Manni with the Rhode Island State Police says since Friday, there have been 2,700 cars that have gone through Rhode Island’s 4 information centers. Only about 10% of drivers are staying in Rhode Island, while the other 90% are just passing through, according to Manni.

“We are looking for voluntary compliance,” said Col. Manni. “Over 95 percent of the non-Rhode island vehicles that enter the state are pulling in there.”

Scott Copley, a Rhode Island resident, rented a car with New York plates, specifically to prove it was not mandatory to stop at information stops. As he expected, he was pulled over by a Rhode Island state trooper on I-95 North on the Connecticut line after he did not stop at the information center.

Copley recorded the interaction on his phone.

“Are you guys passing through Rhode Island?” the trooper asked.

“We don’t answer questions because we know this is not a probable cause stop and we would like to just be on our way,” Copley and the others in the car said.

“Okay that’s completely up to you, you don’t have to,” said the trooper.

Col. Manni can’t comment on this case specifically but did say it is, in fact, voluntary to give your information at the information centers.

If you choose not to like in this instance, you will be pulled over by a state trooper. However, what happens next is on a case by case basis.

“Were not trying to escalate the situation at all,” Col. Manni said. “We realize it’s a tremendous amount of stress. and anxiety. Were not trying to add to that. I’m very confident we can de-escalate any situation.”

Manni emphasized that they have not had any reports of any confrontations and drivers have been extremely compliant.


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