How people of color are being targeted for traffic violations—and huge fines—in California

Too often, these traffic courts are being used to prop up troubled state and local budgets on the backs of poor minorities who get caught up in the system.

News Story (California)

June 21, 2016

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

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


Earlier this year, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights in California, an advocacy group, released a report about the kind of people who lose their driving privileges in California. Through its research, the group found that in many minority communities across the state, “driver’s license suspension rates range as high as five times the state average.” Widespread police practices that pull over minorities at higher rates than white people exacerbate the problem, the report notes.

We’ve all heard of “driving while black.” But thanks to the report, along with a lawsuit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union of California and other organizations against the Solano County Superior Court, we’re starting to learn about the long-term societal impact not driving has on communities of color.