More Traffic Deaths in the Name of Equity?

You would think with the global pandemic in 2020, the number of traffic deaths in the United States would have gone down significantly. However, you could not be more wrong. In fact, traffic fatalities increased by nearly 25% for blacks since 2020 according to an article in the Washington Post. So, why did traffic fatalities increase when fewer people were on the road? 

That article states the reasons were not included in the report but cites “experts” talking about safety inequities and social disparity. Of course, the Biden administration and the overqualified Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg are about this because it fits a narrative. 

This is not to say, there aren’t conditions based on neighborhoods in metro areas where people have to drive more carefully. I think everyone would agree that fixing roads and making transportation safer is important. However, their other arguments and guesses are really weak. To that point maybe there are other reasons, and in fact, ones that made an immediate impact.  

Perhaps it is because people are trying to use our two-tiered justice system to repair historical wrongs. In order to fight racism, law enforcement is looking the other way in regard to traffic stops. However, this does not just apply to the enforcement of rules. The punishment for traffic crimes has been more lenient, leading to many repeat offenders and loss of life.

Problems with Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report on fatalities that shows what happens when you do not enforce traffic rules because of race. According to the report, traffic fatalities amongst non-Hispanic Black people were 23% compared to the previous year. That is a huge jump, especially in a year with fewer drivers on the road. 

Many cities have been telling law enforcement to stop minor traffic stops, specifically for Black people. While some people may think doing this improves “equity”, the 2020 traffic fatality report seem to point out that stopping the enforcement of traffic laws by race has a negative consequence. The increase in fatalities correlated with occupant ejections from being unrestrained. Turns out, that not wearing a seat belt is a minor traffic violation. So basically, preventing these stops ended up increasing the deaths amongst Black people. Looks like these cities were missing a few marbles when they made those decisions. 

What is fair and impartial about not enforcing traffic stops that could save people? Does neglecting to enforce the law (even minor infractions) really somehow promote equity? It sure doesn’t appear that way.


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