The steep cost of driving while black in California

Driving while black in California can be expensive, especially if you are poor.

News Story (California)

Tanzina Vega
CNN Money
April 11, 2016

Tags: Driver's license suspension, Fines and Fees, Minorities: Racial/Ethnic

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)


According to a report by Back On the Road California, a consortium of social justice and legal groups, black drivers in the state are more likely to have their licenses suspended for failure to appear in court or failing to pay a ticket than whites. Black drivers are also more likely to be arrested for driving with a suspended license than whites for the same offense.

“Right now, California and many states around the country are using license suspension as a debt collection tool rather than a tool for public safety,” said Elisa Della-Piana, the legal director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the groups that co-authored the report.