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Study: Police Stops Don’t Stop Car Crashes

StreetsBlogUSA: “An explosive new study has found that a high rate of state patrol traffic stops in U.S. states — which, in turn, increases the possibility of dangerous contact between people of color and law enforcement — is not correlated with decreased car-crash rates, debunking one of the chief justifications for excessive policing on American roads. In what is perhaps one of the broadest analyses to date of policing on traffic safety, researchers at a consortium of Cleveland-area hospitals and universities analyzed data on more than 150 million traffic stops made by state patrol officers in 33 states from 2006 to 2016, comparing them to car-crash rates in those same communities . The analysis showed that, in the aggregate, there was no significant correlation between high rates of police stops per mile and a low crash rate per mile, or between a high crash rate and a low policing rate. Put another way: More traffic stops didn’t stop motorists from killing each other. Black drivers are 63 percent more likely to be stopped in traffic than white drivers, even though they drive 16 percent less; they’re also three times more likely to be killed in such an encounter…”

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