This piece is headed “Study finds “driving while black” really is a crime in Florida” It is complete nonsense.
The ACLU pointed to a 2014 study from the Florida Department of Transportation that found 85.8 percent of black drivers were observed to be wearing their seat belts, compared with 91.5 percent of white drivers.
Another way to look at the statistics is that 14.2 percent of black drivers in Florida don’t wear their seat belts, while 8.5 percent of white drivers don’t. So black drivers are roughly 67 percent more likely to not wear their seat belts, but, according to the ACLU analysis, roughly 88 percent more likely to get ticketed for it — still a significant disparity.
“In 2014, black people made up only 13.5 percent of the estimated Florida resident driver population, but made up 21.96 percent of recipients of all seatbelt citations reported to state authorities,” the ACLU found. “If black people had been stopped and ticketed for seatbelt violations in proportion to their estimated representation among Florida drivers, they would have received 20,296 fewer seatbelt citations in 2014.”
What a pile of cr*p. Let’s do the math correctly. So of, let’s say, 1000 traffic stops at random without color bias, 135 (13.5%) drivers would be black and the remaining 865 non-black. Assuming that in ACLU’s Florida non-black equates to white, 8.5% of 865 or 74.5 would not be belted and would receive a citation. Of the 135 black drivers, 14.2% or 19.2 drivers would be unbelted and cited. A total of 74.5+19.2 = 93.7 citations would have been issued. Black drivers amount to 20.5% of the tickets in fairness, against an actual outcome of 21.96%. This is a 7% over-representation which is probably not statistically significant and could, for example, be due to black drivers driving more.
Dear ACLU, the reason more black drivers are ticketed is that black drivers flout the law more often. Period. The numbers show that they were stopped in proportion to their estimated representation, and ticketed fairly.