Equity in Pedestrian and Bicyclist Mobility, Safety, and Health: The Impact of Racial Bias

The objectives of the research are: (1) Provide evidence of the nature and magnitude of racial disparities in policing with respect to pedestrians, bicyclists, and micromobility users, as well as the impact of such disparities on BIPOC communities (which may include short-term and generational impacts related to legal/court/sentencing and economic outcomes, escalation to violence, individual and community trauma and psychological effects, perceptions of safety, changes to travel behaviors, and other impacts). This will be drawn from a variety of publicly available data (police reports where available, published literature, qualitative and quantitative studies, or other sources) and/or original research. (2) Describe steps communities are taking to consider and address the effects of biased enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle related laws, including alternatives to police enforcement. This could include community-led programs, technology-based systems, organizational or policy changes, changes to laws (e.g., efforts to decriminalize jaywalking), or other interventions. (3) Develop and apply a framework to evaluate the impacts and equity outcomes of these approaches and establish guidelines and recommendations for mitigating inequities in the enforcement of traffic laws with respect to pedestrians, bicyclists, and micromobility users. The recommendations should also speak to necessary data sources (qualitative and quantitative) and methods needed to evaluate alternatives. This urgent research is needed to measure and address the ways systemic bias impacts communities via traffic enforcement policies and programs. As NHTSA distributes funds related to reporting of traffic offenses and crashes involving vulnerable users, there is a need to develop strategies and plans to ensure that these policies do not unintentionally create inequity and inequality among communities, particularly communities with a majority of BIPOC members. This research will help meet GHSA’s call to action to evaluate racial bias in traffic enforcement and fill a gap in the research currently oriented to driver-based policing effects. It will produce findings that will provide a framework for future traffic safety enforcement programs to develop more responsible and just policing methods that are more likely to result in positive safety outcomes.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-21

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Retting, Richard

  • Start Date: 20210713
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01775927
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-21
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 5 2021 3:11PM