Background A visible, credible law enforcement presence is a critical piece of influencing safer driver behavior and research has shown that the chances of getting caught are more important than the size of any penalty. Despite this, traffic enforcement efforts and associated violation citations and conviction rates can vary widely between jurisdictions and even within jurisdictions over time.
ObjectiveIdentify factors that motivate law enforcement agencies to increase their traffic enforcement efforts (e.g., public demand, information campaigns, traffic congestion, politics, holiday seasons, etc.). Identify factors that lead to a decrease in traffic enforcement efforts by the agency. Identify how various law enforcement agencies determine their use of resources (manpower, time, money, etc.) in the traffic enforcement role. This study may be a useful supplement to an FY 2004 Traffic Injury Control project to analyze the costs and benefits of highly visible law enforcement.
Proposed Approach Survey local law enforcement and State highway patrol agencies and officials in order to determine factors that cause increases and decreases in traffic enforcement activities and their methodology for determining resource use for traffic enforcement efforts. The evaluation may require 2-4 years, depending on the extent of data collection.