Traffic deaths increased during the pandemic. The toll fell more heavily on Black residents, report shows

A new study released Tuesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) highlights the disparities. It analyzed data from 2015 to 2019 and found that in different types of traffic crashes, Black people were killed at higher rates than White people. Black pedestrians were killed at a rate twice as high.

Charles Brown, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Planning and Public Policy, said the figures leave transportation officials facing a simple question.

“We’ve all been socialized, in a way, to believe that Black death is due to Black behavior when instead we know infrastructure influences behavior,” said Brown, who is the founder of planning firm Equitable Cities. “If that is true, we need investments in quality infrastructure in Black communities. How many more Black people do we have to lose before that is the number one priority?”

Washington Post, June 22, 2021