Individual and Geographic Variation in Driver’s License Suspensions: Evidence of Disparities by Race, Ethnicity and Income

Access to a motor vehicle is essential for pursuing social and economic opportunity in the US. Yet, in 43 states courts can suspend an individual’s driver’s license for non-driving-related (NDR) offenses (e.g., failure to pay fee/fine). In anecdotal interviews, individuals who have not been able to drive because of an NDR suspension have reported devastating cascades of negative consequences, including economic, social, physical health, and mental wellness outcomes. However, little is known about the prevalence of license suspensions and how prevalence varies by individual-level characteristics (age) and census tract-level characteristics (socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity). The authors utilized the unique New Jersey Traffic Safety Outcomes (NJ-SHO) data warehouse, which includes the full licensing history, geocoded residential addresses, and census tract-level socioeconomic measures (income, race/ethnicity) and systems-level resources (public transportation, neighborhood walkability) for drivers licensed in NJ between 2004–2018. The authors calculated the prevalence of NDR suspensions among all drivers and for specific age groups of interest (young drivers: age 17-20; older drivers: age 65+). In addition, the authors examined the association between NDR suspensions and census tract-level sociodemographics and measures of neighborhood accessibility, overall and within stratified age groups.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 5p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01764964
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01394
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:24AM