The Policy of Enforcement: Red Light Cameras and Racial Profiling

Robert J. Eger, C. Kevin Fortner, Catherine P. Slade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We explore the question of whether some of the often conflicting evidence of racial profiling can be cleared up using red light camera observations to measure racial disparities in traffic violations. Using data from cameras at intersections matched to census data, we find that although citations from the red light cameras are issued to a disproportionate number of minorities based on the racial composition of the surrounding location, the racial composition of the violator is consistent with the racial composition of the block group in which they reside. Our study indicates that red light cameras may have a present and future role in assisting public policy makers on issues of racial profiling thresholds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-413
Number of pages17
JournalPolice Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • racial profiling
  • red light cameras
  • traffic law enforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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