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Virtual Seminar: Racial Disparities in Traffic Enforcement

November 20, 2020 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EST

Law enforcement traffic stops are one of the most common entryways to the US justice system, with significant downstream impacts for both individuals and communities. Group-specific rates are typically based on jurisdiction resident populations; these rates, like many justice-system indicators, demonstrate race-ethnicity disparities. Residential-based rates implicitly assume race-ethnicity groups have equal vehicle access, equal driving volume, and that all driving occurs in resident’s jurisdictions. In contrast, surveys suggest Black non-Hispanic and Hispanic households have less access and drive less than White non-Hispanic households. Models incorporating US Census data and race-ethnicity driving factors from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey showed increased disparities for Black non-Hispanic drivers; all models suggested both groups experience disparate traffic stop rates compared to White non-Hispanic drivers. More information.