Posted on April 7, 2023

Lawmakers Push Buttigieg to Address Racial Imbalance in Traffic Stops

Harris Alic, Washington Times, April 7, 2023

The Congressional Black Caucus is demanding Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg take immediate action to tackle the racial imbalance between White and Black Americans when it comes to traffic stops.

Lawmakers say the Biden administration needs to do something as “too many Black people have been killed by police in the name of traffic safety.”

“On our nation’s roads and highways, Black motorists have experienced disproportionate scrutiny and excessive force under the guise of traffic enforcement,” the CBC wrote in a letter to Mr. Buttigieg. {snip}

Black lawmakers say Mr. Buttigieg should undertake an active review of federal grants given to states for traffic enforcement to ensure taxpayer money is not going to “racial profiling.” They also want Mr. Buttigieg to set aside money from President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure law to address the racial imbalance.

A 2018 study by the federal government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that African American motorists were more likely to be pulled over for traffic stops than Hispanics or Whites.

Mapping Police Violence, a progressive advocacy group, notes that 1,235 people were killed during traffic stops in 2022 alone. Of that number, 276 were Black, 419 were White, and 175 were Hispanic.

CBC lawmakers say the number of African Americans killed in traffic stops is disproportionate compared to the overall number of Black drivers on the road.

{snip} “Driving while Black may not be a real crime codified in law, but it is treated as one throughout the country.”

Addressing the supposed racial imbalance of traffic stops is a top priority for the CBC after the death of Tyre Nichols earlier this year. {snip}