Transportation

Justice

 

 

Inequality of access to safe, affordable, efficient transportation has ongoing, devastating effects on health, family well-being, environmental quality, and community and societies at every level of human activity.

 

Virtually zero attention goes toward the source of these inequalities, their measurement, or their amelioration, neither in popular thinking, journalism, policymaking, or transportation planning.

 

Improving transportation justice bears huge promise for maximal personal and societal effects from transportation investments.

 

Itís time.

 

Case in point*:

 

         New Mexican Native Americans died in motor vehicle crash deaths at per-capita rates 132% higher than the rate for New Mexico non-Hispanic Whites in 2005-2007, the most recent data available.

         Native Americans constitute 18.1% of New Mexico traffic deaths in 2005-2007, though Native Americans represent 9.0% of the Stateís population.

         If Native Americans had the same death rate observed for non-Hispanic Whites, there would have been 129 fewer Native American crash deaths in New Mexico in2005-2007 :98 deaths, rather than 227.

 

         Native American males constitute 12.1% of New Mexico traffic deaths in 2005-2007, though Native American males represent 4.3% of the population.

         New Mexico Hispanic males died in motor vehicle crashes at rates 15.6% higher than the rates for New Mexico non-Hispanic White males.

         If Hispanics had the same death rate observed for non-Hispanic Whites, there would have been 51 fewer Hispanic crash deaths in New Mexico in2005-2007 :480 deaths, rather than 531.

 

Yet consider:

 

         New Mexico has not conducted a descriptive epidemiology analysis considering occupant protection usage or alcohol involvement in crashes by race/ethnicity since 1993.

         New Mexico public health/safety planning sets no goals nor measurements targeting excessive deaths in over-represented groups.

 

 

*Data Source:CDC WISQARS, June, 2011