The Racial Equity Implications of Road Safety Enforcement in Oakland, CA

April 19, 2021

New CSCRS Road Safety Fellowship Research Posted

We are excited to share Fall 2020 Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS) Fellow Alejo Alvarado's final report, "The Racial Equity Implications of Road Safety Enforcement in Oakland, CA." 

Executive Summary

Road safety is rarely associated with racial justice - however, the current political moment has made clear the need for a shift in our approach to racism and itsFigure 1 showing the share of total population and total stops by race 2019 manifestations in the built and social environments. Though the need for this change in paradigm is not new, it has grown increasingly visible as issues of race, class, and gender are now at the forefront of our collective consciousness. The field of urban planning often has historically situated itself as a perpetrator of injustice and harm toward communities of color. As the demands for racial justice are heard throughout streets across the world - it is important to interrogate how the current Transportation planning and policy reify racial injustice.

This research analyzes the City of Oakland’s stop data to address disparate impacts across racial groups. By connecting road safety enforcement outcomes and race this report analyzes how the current model, that relies on police to enforce safety is inequitable. Findings suggest that Black people are overpoliced relative to White and other non-white groups. GIS analysis of the distribution of arrests also suggests alternatives such as Automated Speed Enforcement might also have negative impacts on historically marginalized communities.

Read the full report.

About the CSCRS

The Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety is a U.S. Department of Transportation-funded National University Transportation Center led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Highway Safety Research Center. The Center unites leading university transportation research, planning, public health, data science and engineering programs with the mission to create and exchange knowledge to advance transportation safety through a multidisciplinary, Safe Systems approach.

The UC Berkeley team, led by SafeTREC Co-Director Offer Grembek, is one of four university consortium members, along with Duke University, Florida Atlantic University and University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Learn more about SafeTREC's involvement with the CSCRS.