Black drivers stopped by police received traffic citations only 41 percent of the time compared to White drivers, who received traffic citations 69 percent of the time.
To understand the impact of traffic stops and citations, SPUR analyzed 2019 traffic stop data from Los Angeles, California. Data shows traffic stops are not evenly distributed across racial and ethnic groups, with Black and LatinX people disproportionately stopped by police, often for offenses that have little impact on public safety. In addition, although Black and LatinX people are more likely to be stopped by police, their encounters are less likely to result in a citation than White and Asian drivers.
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- Los Angeles collected $2.45 million from Black drivers and $4.4 million from Latinx drivers for not having a vehicle registration.
- Black drivers were stopped for reasons related to their car’s equipment 22 percent of the time and 20 percent for Latinx drivers, compared to nine and 11 percent for Asian and White drivers, respectively.
- White drivers in Los Angeles were most likely to be stopped for speeding, and Black and Latinx were most likely to be stopped for displaying license plates incorrectly or not having an up-to-date car registration.