Racial and Gender Profiling Can Affect Outcome of Traffic Stops

ScienceDaily, June 21, 2012


Jeremy Briggs, doctoral candidate in sociology, Topeka, is analyzing police actions during routine traffic stops to understand how race and gender are connected. Perhaps one of his most significant findings is that black and Hispanic women are just as likely as white men to be ticketed, arrested or searched during a traffic stop.

“Racial profiling has really come back into political discussions, especially in national media,” Briggs said. “It still matters in traffic stops.”

For his research, Briggs is using a national set of data called the Police Public Contact Survey. The data set was collected in 2005 and includes information from citizens above the age of 16 about their most recent contact with police. The data set includes traffic stops, which are the most common form of police-level contact.


Some of his most significant findings include:

* When compared with men, women were 23 percent less likely to be ticketed, 55 percent less likely to be arrested and 76 percent less likely to be searched when stopped by police. Women were more likely to only receive a warning or have no outcome when stopped by police during a traffic stop.

* Black and Hispanic drivers were significantly more likely to be searched, ticketed and arrested than white drivers when stopped by police. For example, black drivers were more than twice as likely to be searched or arrested when compared with white drivers. Hispanic drivers were almost three times as likely to be searched when compared with white drivers.

By combining data dealing with race and gender, Briggs found the differences between men and women do not hold up for all races. Out of all racial and ethnic categories of male and female drivers, white women were most likely to receive a perceived benefit in a traffic stop, such as receiving only a warning or no outcome at all. But the same is not true for black and Hispanic women, who were just as likely as white men to be ticketed, arrested or searched instead of receiving a warning or no outcome.

Black and Hispanic men were the most likely to be ticketed, arrested or searched during a traffic stop. Black men were 2.5 times as likely as white men to be arrested and twice as likely to be searched. Hispanic men were 1.5 times as likely as white men to receive a ticket and more than three times as likely to be searched.


Briggs also studied the race of police officers during traffic stops. He found that officer race does not appear to have a significant effect on the outcome of the traffic stop. Rather, the outcome seemed to be most affected by driver’s characteristics.

“It is possible that racial and gender differences are explained by some of the controls, such as the reason for the stop, driving frequency and other demographics,” Briggs said. “But it’s also possible that when considering all these other controls, racial profiling still stands. My analysis shows that race and gender do still matter in traffic stops, even controlling for many of these other factors.”



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  • Bruno

    To me it is RACIST when they stop a guy in Beverly Hills, driving a 12 year old Caddy with tinted windows and 30 inch wheels at three in the morning JUST BECAUSE HE IS BLACK.
    Yea right.

  • MekongDelta69

    “Jeremy Briggs, doctoral candidate in sociology…”

    Say no more. “Sociology” = anti-everybody reading this post.

    • robinbishop34

      I recall having to read ‘The Sociologically Examined Life’ in addition to the course textbook when I took this nonsense in college. It was so nauseatingly anti-white I stopped reading it in the evening because it interfered with my sleep.  I went on to read what was required before working out or using the treadmill so I could burn it off.

      • mikejones91

        Yeah I took sociology in CC and that (not kidding, that alone, basically) is what brought me to this site. To sit through that class I was in and NOT pick up the vibes I did (the passive aggressive undertones of pretty much EVERY lesson) tells me your probably not the smartest person. Even if your somewhat intelligent, the fact that you don’t question what your “told” is another negative indicator. 

  • alastairabbacle

    “Black and Hispanic men were the most likely to be ticketed, arrested or searched during a traffic stop. Black men were 2.5 times as likely as white men to be arrested and twice as likely to be searched. Hispanic men were 1.5 times as likely as white men to receive a ticket and more than three times as likely to be searched.”

    This is because Black and Hispanic men (as a whole) are more prone to have criminal records, suspicious behavior, or bad attitudes.   Disparate outcome does not imply disparate treatment. 

    For these interventionist liberals, minorities are like bags of skin.  A man can never be a man, they have to be a “Black” man.   I wish we didn’t have to constantly harp on Blacks and Hispanics.  Unfortunately, the interference of the government and universities in misguided attempts at social engineering have forced us to.   

    There are more thug Blacks, and fewer smart Blacks.  Not all Blacks, but as a whole by averages and statistics.  This is the simple, harsh truth.   Reality does not conform to racial equality in civilizational achievement.   Whites take to civilization like ducks to water, Blacks have a little more trouble.  Not all, but many.  That is all.   Reality itself has become controversial these days…..

  • Vae Victis

    I wonder if traffic light cameras ticket different groups in proportions similar to those in this study? I wish he had included this data. Cameras can’t be racist, but they can tell us objectively who is driving aggressively.

    • mikejones91

      Actually, cameras can be racist. 

  • Sloppo

    I’ve noticed that violent criminals seem to be more likely to be arrested than people who are not prone to criminal violence.  I think its a conspiracy.

  • The__Bobster


    Two years ago, when the Justice Department forced New Jersey
    officials to adopt new policies to discourage racial profiling by state
    troopers, it also told the state to study the driving habits of black and white
    motorists on the New Jersey Turnpike.

    The task was complicated, but the reason for it was simple: numerous studies
    have shown that police officers in New Jersey and elsewhere stop black and
    Hispanic drivers for speeding more often than they stop whites. What is less
    certain is why — how much of that disparity is because of racial profiling and
    how much, if any, is attributable to differences in driving behavior, which have
    never been adequately documented.

    But rather than clarifying the issue, the study created its own muddle.
    Justice Department officials say they have such serious questions about the
    methods used to gather the data that they have asked New Jersey’s attorney
    general not to release the findings. It is not clear whether they will be made

    The study involved photographing tens of thousands of drivers on the turnpike
    last spring while clocking speed with a radar gun. It found that black drivers
    sped much more than other drivers, according to three people who have reviewed
    the unreleased report. The racial gap was far wider than officials had expected
    and, in the politically charged controversies over profiling, the data could be
    used by defenders of the state police to argue that one reason black drivers are
    stopped more often than whites is that they are more likely to speed.

    • mikejones91

      “Moral” of the story….If a black man is speeding, it’s probably because he had to stay late at his job and needed to pick up his child from the day care center before they close down for the day. As to not keep the staff waiting. Blacks are considerate like that. They put others needs/feelings first.

  • Jesse_from_Sweden

    Actually, what this most likely means, is that police are stopping whites much more often than they have to.

    If arrests are made in 100% of the stops, that means the police are very good in stopping the right people, not that they are profiling.
    If they were profiling in error, stopping people only for their skin color for example, the rates at which they arrest them would be low, since they would be stopping innocent people.
    We are of course discarding the theory that police are arresting people just because they are black, but that they actually have to have something on them in order to arrest them.

    That the arrest rate for stopping whites is low means they are stopping more whites in error.
    Probably due to the whole profiling thing.
    Everyone is coming down hard on the police because they are stopping blacks at a higher rate than whites, so they are balancing their statistics by stopping whites, even when they have no real reason for it, just so that the stop rates for whites and blacks will reflect the racial makeup of the area.

    In other words, police are wasting their time, stopping innocent people for politically correct reasons instead of focusing on stopping those that they suspect to be criminals, wether they be black or white.

    So how many black criminals are slipping through the net because police is wasting time stopping innocent whites to balance their statistics?

  • Sloppo

    In order to completely eliminate profiling from the criminal justice system, police officers need to stop cars completely at random.  If they target cars which are not roadworthy, it would be racist because blacks and hispanics have a lot of those.  After the stops are made, the arrests should be made at random.  If they target individuals who display high levels of criminal violence, it would be racist because blacks and hispanics have higher rates than whites and east asians.  I think police should use a device like the wheel in “Wheel of Fortune” to determine who to stop and arrest.

  • Briggs also studied the race of police officers during traffic stops. He found that officer race does not appear to have a significant effect on the outcome of the traffic stop. Rather, the outcome seemed to be most affected by driver’s characteristics.

    It would seem that police officers of all races appear to have the same biases towards blacks and Hispanics. Could it be from irrational, unfounded prejudices or daily, real world experiences?

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    heres my prediction for blacks killed in chicago by other blacks almost forgot. lets see….
    i say 22 shot and 9 killed!!!! two mob beatings with 3 not reported.

    • xxxtonygunsxxx

       if its not raining add 10 to each figure

  • 1proactive2

    The greatest difficulty in getting any level of degree in Sociology is finding a parking space when you arrive at the school for class.  Sociologists also, uh, “study”, the most senseless topics their near vacous brains such as the diets of ethnic groups.  Deep, eh?

    Then again they are experts at selective reasoning when it comes to desired outcomes.   

  • 1proactive2

    Has anyone reading this article witnessed a black or hispanic when stopped by law enforcement?  Members of these 2 groups instantly want to argue – loudly. 

    The majority of both groups absolutely hate police officers, that is, until one of their “chirren” gets shot in a drive-by. 

  • 1proactive2

    This research project makes an enormous error in its design:  It assumes all races obey the traffic laws, to include driving habits, exactly the same. 

    • Sloppo

      The Religion of Political Correctness forbids us to believe that there might be any real differences in the average behaviors of races.  People who disbelieve because of what they see in the real world and in scientific research must be regarded as heretics who lack PC faith.

  • Dan

     Blacks, both male and female,  are also much more likely to be verbally and physically abusive when stopped by police.

  • Sloppo

    Yes, the liberal logic is a curious thing.  It appears that the sensitive feelings of blacks are considered more worthy of protection than the lives of whites.  That’s why the news media believes the race of violent black perpetrators must be hidden from whites who might be able to protect themselves better if they were informed.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx


  • TrollAccount

    I’d say not nearly enough blacks are being pulled over by cops.  Have you seen how blacks, especially big fat black women, drive?

    • No mentally sane cop wants to “search” such land whales.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    look these  black teens “” have not robbed killed flashmobbed and raped enough 80 year old white woman or beaten enough ww2 veterans to death so the sup court is letting them out!! al sharpton says the court is just KEEPING IT REAL!!

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    meanwhile blacks are organizing, mobilizing, preparing for  violence against whites flashmobbing attacking whites raping old white woman while white leaders turn their heads cover up the crimes sing and imitate people on their radio programs and make jokes like silly clowns. why are whites being beaten into comas and brain damage in every major city? because who is going to stop them? a CLOWN? A SILLY CLOWN?   exactly……….