A pilot study by the Portland State University-based Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) found that drivers were less likely to stop for black pedestrians waiting to use a crosswalk than white ones.
Researchers had three black and three white men of similar age, height and build, dressed in identical neutral outfits and "without any obvious social or socio-economic characteristics," cross an unsignalized, marked crosswalk in downtown Portland. Each pedestrian crossed 15 times, resulting in 168 driver subjects overall.
Observers found that blacks got passed by twice as many cars as white pedestrians, and waited 32 percent longer to cross.
Pedestrians account for 13 percent of all motor vehicle traffic-related deaths in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But African Americans disproportionately die at a rate 60 percent higher than whites, according to a 2014 study from Smart Growth America.
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