A study released today finds that black and Latino drivers in California have their licenses suspended at about five times the rate of their white counterparts. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights compiled DMV and census data, which show how license suspensions keep minorities and low-income people stuck in poverty. The report comes at a time when California leaders are grappling with how to reduce racial and socioeconomic inequities in the traffic court system.
“We have a system of fines and fees that have morphed from a system of accountability to a system that raises revenue for essential government services,” California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said last month in her annual State of the Judiciary Address. “But we have made progress with the three branches of government. Last year you passed a traffic amnesty bill, and we are now restoring licenses to thousands of Californians.”
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