North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center announces results of study on race and gender in traffic stops statewide

Police lights (Getty Images)

Police lights (Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center on Wednesday announced the results of a study on statewide trends regarding traffic stops.

The CJAC’s full announcement can be read below:

North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center (CJAC) announces Part 1 of the study on statewide trends regarding traffic stops in the Justice Analysis Review (JAR) July 2020 issue. This study is part of the North Carolina Traffic Stop Reporting Program Series.  

The study which is Part 1 of the series, found that the majority of the traffic stops in North Carolina from 2009-19 were speed limit violations (40%) or vehicle regulatory and equipment violations (29%). These violations account for 69% of all stops for the period. Part 1 of this series also presents the racial disparities among drivers being stopped and the purpose of the traffic stop.

Beginning in 2009, the number of overall traffic stops reported annually increased for a few years and then decreased by 13% by 2019, while the projected driving population increased 14% over the period. The rate of stops for Black drivers decreased by 15% between 2009 and 2019, while the rate of stops for white drivers fell by 28% and other/unknown races decreased by 30% over the period. In 2019, the rate of stops for Black drivers was more than twice that of white drivers and almost 1.5 times that of other races (including unknown). Click for detailed view of review.

“The Criminal Justice Analysis Center has been hard at work conducting non-partisan research and analysis to inform and support criminal justice decision-making,” stated Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. “The study will serve to identify key criminal justice measures which can help evaluate police interactions with the public and improve law enforcement services.” 

North Carolina General Statute § 143B-903 mandated law enforcement officials across the state collect and maintain information about traffic stops. To date, those efforts have generated a database containing details for more than 25 million traffic stops, which provided the necessary data for CJAC to study.

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