Over recent years, America has seen a drastic increase in the number of racial profiling incidents, especially on the country’s roadways. Despite efforts to maintain and comply with human rights standards, this increase largely involves the apparent divide between law enforcement and non-white citizens. And despite the country’s growing awareness of the issue, Florida is one of the highest-ranking states with racial injustice on the road.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, evidence shows that racial profiling on Florida’s roads did, in fact, occur in recent years — particularly among the black community. Data showed that law enforcement officers stopped and ticketed black motorists for seat belt violations at a rate nearly double that of white motorists. This imbalance was even more apparent in surrounding Florida counties. The ACLU reminds its readers that such traffic stops can be deadly to non-whites, and despite the data showing that blacks and whites wore seatbelts at comparatively equal rates, this detrimental trend has yet to cease.
The New York Times also acknowledges the extreme issue of racial injustice on Florida’s roads, noting the damage of the growing stigma against black communities as well as the crippling ticket costs of seat belt violations. Why, many ask, does such an issue exist? While finding a solution may prove to be complicated, civil rights groups around the nation have voiced a dire need for change in the way black communities are treated, particularly on the road. Many agree that that change must first occur within law enforcement, where the ACLU also reports that Tampa and Miami police departments have also recently failed to comply with the law that requires them to report data to the state.