Governors Highway Safety Association speaks out against racism in traffic enforcement

A new effort to promote road safety is tackling excessive force and racism.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA, released a list of recommendations to help improve community trust and provide more education for those involved in traffic enforcement.

“Deaths that are unjustified and tragic that occur at the hands of law enforcement, potentially involving traffic enforcement, remind us that excessive force, disparate treatment, and individual and systematic racism in policing threaten public safety and roadway safety,” the association said in a news release.

GHSA’s recommendations include ensuring that agency demographics are commensurate with the communities they serve. The group supports implementing more effective ways of collecting data in order to support highway safety planning in law-enforcement grant-funding decisions.

Federal, state and local governments are also being encouraged to listen to minority and low-income communities affected by highway safety planning.

The group also called for more federal, state and local investment in social and criminal justice programs; training on racism, bias, de-escalation, use of force and officer intervention; and investment in empathy, stress management, early warning systems and mental health programs for officers.

GHSA also expressed support for leadership and the criminal justice system when it comes to holding officers who violate public trust accountable.

It said it will also work on increasing diversity within its organization as it pushes highway safety initiatives forward.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.

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