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Impact of Drivers' Race, Gender, and Age During Traffic Stops: Assessing Interaction Terms and the Social Conditioning Model

NCJ Number
245039
Journal
Crime and Delinquency Volume: 59 Issue: 3 Dated: April 2013 Pages: 369-395
Author(s)
Rob Tillyer; Robin S. Engel
Date Published
April 2013
Length
27 pages
Annotation

This study presents research that demonstrated minority drivers receive disparate traffic stop outcomes compared with similarly situated White drivers. 

Abstract

Recent research has demonstrated that minority drivers receive disparate traffic stop outcomes compared with similarly situated White drivers. This research, however, is often not grounded within a theoretical framework and fails to examine specific combinations of driver demographics. This study addresses those shortcomings by examining research questions based on the social conditioning model and investigating the relationship between specific combinations of drivers' race/ethnicity, gender, and age, and traffic stop outcomes. Using alternative measures of stop outcomes and robust official traffic stop data collected from a State law enforcement agency, the results demonstrate that warnings and citations, but not arrests, are differentially issued to young, Black male drivers. The findings also confirm the influence of legal factors on police decisionmaking during traffic stops. Research and policy implications are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.

Date Published: April 1, 2013