Although access to a motor vehicle is essential for pursuing social and economic opportunity and ensuring health and well-being, states have increasingly used driver's license suspensions as a means of compelling compliance with a variety of laws and regulations unrelated to driving,
In recent study led by Nina Joyce, PhD, Senior Author and PISC Scholar, Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, and colleagues they determine the population of suspended drivers and what geographic resources may be available to them to help mitigate the impact of a suspension. Characteristics of suspended drivers, their residential census tract, as well as access to public transportation and job were compared by reason for the suspension (driving or non-driving related). They also examined trends in incidence and prevalence of driving- and non-driving-related suspensions by sub-type over time.
They found that the vast majority of license suspensions were for non-driving-related events, with the most common reason for a suspension being failure to pay a fine. Compared to drivers with a driving-related suspension or no suspension, non-driving-related suspended drivers lived in census tracts with a lower household median income, higher proportion of black and Hispanic residents and higher unemployment rates, but also better walkability scores and better access to public transportation and jobs.