Wachs Lecture shares research on the joint rise of automobiles and policing

How the rise of the automobile fundamentally changed the nature of policing in America is a topic that is both integral to mobility and yet often overlooked by traditional transportation academics.  “This is not just a history of the police, but also a history about race,” said Sarah Seo, Columbia Law professor and author of “Policing the Open Road” who gave the 14th annual Martin Wachs Distinguished Lecture in Transportation on March 4. The lecture was established in honor of Professor Emeritus Wachs and rotates between UCLA and UC Berkeley, the campuses at which he taught. It brings innovative speakers to discuss the pressing challenges facing transportation today. https://youtu.be/kMnEyLfqGbw   Seo opened by explaining the paradox of the car: that since its inception, cars have symbolized freedom, yet today, driving is one of the most policed aspects of American life — particularly for people of color. Policing was not always as ubiquitous as it is today; in the early 20th century, policing was relatively limited and focused on marginalized groups, particularly the poor and immigrants. The “typical” white, middle-class man rarely interacted with the police and instead self-governed through social norms of honor and shame.  As the automobile gained popularity, [...]

By |2021-04-06T10:21:23-07:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Transportation & Communities|Tags: |