New Report Finds Traffic Crash Fatalities Disproportionately Affect Black, Indigenous and People of Color

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has issued a new report analyzing data from 2015-2019 finding that traffic crash fatalities disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).

Compared with all other racial groups, American Indian/Alaskan Native persons had a substantially higher per-capita rate of total traffic fatalities. White, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Asian persons had lower than average rates. American Indian/Alaskan Native persons had the highest per-capita rate of total traffic deaths, speeding-related fatalities, and pedestrian and bicyclist deaths. Black persons had the second highest rate of total traffic deaths, pedestrian traffic deaths and bicyclist traffic deaths. Traffic fatality rates among white persons exceed those of BIPOC in motorcycle driver and passenger deaths.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. GHSA’s executive director, Jonathan Adkins advised, “GHSA is focused on promoting racial justice and finding solutions that advance just results in the country’s behavioral safety programs. This problem didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight - but we have to begin taking meaningful steps forward every day to make our roads safe for all people and communities.”

 

State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs), which address speeding, impaired driving and other safety issues, work with their engineering counterparts to address how infrastructure affects crashes. The report identifies actions that communities can take when considering traffic enforcement to better serve minority communities while also reducing crashes, injuries or death.

This initiative is part of a broader GHSA focus on equity. At its 2021 Annual Meeting, GHSA will bring together national and state leaders early this fall in Denver to discuss steps the highway safety community can take to achieve greater equity in traffic enforcement and engagement at the first in-person national traffic safety conference since the start of the pandemic. GHSA will also hold a webinar in July on how to build trust and foster positive engagement between law enforcement and BIPOC communities.

Access the full article and report here.

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