The Price of A Ticket

Racial Profiling
And Highway Deaths
In New Jersey

Racist practices by New Jersey state police are not only unjust and oppressive, but actually deadly, according to a new Right Of Way report.

Right Of Way members Charles Komanoff and Michael Smith have written a statistical study of the safety effects of "racial profiling" by state troopers in New Jersey. "Racial profiling" is the practice of stopping motorists based on skin color rather than any actual violation, and New Jersey governor Christine Whitman recently acknowledged that New Jersey state police have long followed this practice.

Komanoff and Smith calculate the "additional" fatalities caused by racial profiling. They argue that since police resources are finite, "profiling" stops of law-abiding drivers consumed police time that could have been used for stops of dangerous drivers instead. Based on the known efficacy of dangerous-driving stops in reducing traffic fatalities, Komanoff and Smith conclude that during the period 1994-1998, "racial profiling" actually cost the lives of somewhere between 65 and 110 individuals on the roadways of the "Garden State."

You can read the report on this site, in PDF format; requires Adobe Acroread (available free from Adobe) or other PDF viewer to display. (If you have difficulty downloading or viewing the PDF version of the report, please let me know.)

Printed copies of the report are available for $3.00, which includes postage and handling costs. Write to
Right Of Way
305 Broadway, Room 402
New York, NY 10007

Checks should be payable to Right Of Way.