- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Drivers are less likely to yield for black pedestrians than white pedestrians, contributing to disproportionate safety outcomes for minorities, a new study has claimed.

The study, conducted by researchers at Portland State University and the University of Arizona, found that a black pedestrian’s wait time at the curb was about 32 percent longer than a white person’s, and black participants were about twice as likely to be passed by multiple cars.

The study says the results support its hypothesis that minority pedestrians experience discriminatory treatment by drivers at crosswalks.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing 10 years of data, says blacks are twice as likely to die in pedestrian accidents than whites, even when controlling for differences such as socioeconomic status and alcohol use, The Washington Post reported.

“We definitely can’t say that the differences in things such as fatality rates can be explained by what we observed,” said Arlie Adkins, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. 

The study took place in downtown Portland, a city of about 600,000 that’s 76 percent white and about 6 percent black, The Post reported.

The study used six trained male research team participants — 3 white and 3 black — and simulated an individual pedestrian crossing, while trained observers cataloged the number of cars that passed and the time until a driver yielded. All of the the participants were in their 20s, had a similar height and build, and wore identical, nondescript clothing.

In 88 trials, results revealed that black pedestrians were passed by twice as many cars and experienced wait times that were 32 percent longer than white pedestrians.

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