Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "motorists" ...

  • Driven Into Debt

    This ongoing series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • ProPublica Illinois: Driven Into Debt

    This series of stories — which started at ProPublica Illinois and later was produced in collaboration with WBEZ — exposed how the city of Chicago’s aggressive and unequal ticketing practices, combined with punitive collections measures, have pushed tens of thousands of mostly black motorists into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The stories have also examined Chicago’s cottage industry of bankruptcy attorneys who profit off consumers with ticket debt, even as their clients often sink even deeper into debt; the racially disparate consequences of license suspensions for unpaid tickets; and an ill-fated decision to hike the price of what was already one of the most expensive tickets in the city.
  • L.A. Times: In the Search for Drugs, a Lopsided Dragnet

    Since 2012, deputies in a specialized narcotics unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have pulled over thousands of cars on a rural stretch of the 5 Freeway, California’s major north-south artery. A Times analysis of the unit’s traffic stops found Latino drivers are stopped and searched far more frequently than other motorists – a disparity that translated into thousands of innocent people being detained by deputies acting on little more than a hunch. In several cases, federal judges ruled deputies violated people’s constitutional rights. In response to The Times’ investigation, the Sheriff’s Department recently suspended the unit’s operations.
  • Houston Chronicle: Out of Control

    When new residents of Houston first hit the roads, many come to the same realization: This is not normal. The highways are a labyrinthine mess. The motorists drive at extraordinarily high speed, often distracted. At night, drunk drivers weave in and out of traffic. Those factors lead to daily tragedy. Chronicle reporters knew the carnage was unusual. In 2016, they began investigating the scope of the problem. The findings: the greater Houston region was the nation’s deadliest major metro area for roadway fatalities, with more than 640 deaths annually – or the equivalent of three fully loaded 737s crashing and killing all aboard, every year. They found declining speeding enforcement, even as deaths rose. They also discovered similar results with DWI and distracted driving enforcement.
  • Dangerous Dollar Jitneys

    After scores of complaints, safety violations and a crash that killed an infant, WPIX went undercover and caught “dollar jitney” drivers committing dangerous acts behind the wheel: texting and talking on cell phones, illegally passing and speeding - endangering New York and New Jersey motorists, pedestrians and passengers. http://pix11.com/2015/11/20/pix11-investigation-exposes-dangerous-dollar-jitneys-traveling-ny-nj-roadways/ http://pix11.com/2015/11/23/pix11-investigation-sparks-police-probe-into-jitney-drivers-using-phones-behind-the-wheel/
  • Ticket Inequality

    After racial-profiling allegations in one town led to state and federal investigations of the local police department, we set out to investigate whether minority motorists faced similar discrimination elsewhere in the state. In a first-ever analysis of traffic-stop data recorded by local police departments, we found that black and Hispanic motorists pulled over by police were significantly more likely to be ticketed than white motorists pulled over the same offense.
  • "Drivers Beware"

    Thomas Caywood revealed that a local towing company, Falcon Recovery, was using an "undercover spotter" to keep watch on a strip mall parking lot. Just moments after motorists parked and left their cars, the spotter would call in a tow truck. Caywood also revealed that the company was "tacking on an illegal charge."
  • Are Your Papers in Order

    The series reveals how the Sheriff of Maricopa County rounded up illegal aliens for deportation in an effort to remove illegal immigrants. The way this was done was arresting many people without probable cause and simple issues, such as traffic stops. Further, he was stopping darker colored people with alleged infractions and later checking on their residency to determine if they had to be deported or not.
  • N.J.'s "last resort" auto policies

    New Jersey has a “dollar-a-day” insurance program, which essentially gives poor drivers a legal insurance card. But this insurance doesn’t cover any costs if the driver happens to cause an accident. Furthermore, this system would leave the victims of the accidents paying for the damage they didn’t cause.
  • Brian Ross Investigates: Tires-Cracking the Code

    This report investigates the little-known hazard of the road - aged tires that have exceeded their shelf life. Most motorists only look at the depth of a tire's tread to determine if it is safe enough to use. However, our investigation revealed that as tires get older, even if they've never been driven a mile, they can dry out, and after six years of age, can become dangerous. Experts say aged tires have led to numerous fatalities, yet motorists have been kept in the dark about the issue.