Understanding Bias-Based Traffic Law Enforcement:
A Manual To Reduce Bias-Based Traffic Law Enforcement

Understanding Bias-Based Traffic law Enforcement

WHAT IS BIAS-BASED TRAFFIC LAW ENFORCEMENT?
 

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Introduction

Self-Assessment

Definition

Traffic Enforcement

Community Outreach

Data Collection

Resources

Legislation and Case Law

Conclusion

Bias-based traffic law enforcement, commonly referred to as “racial profiling,” may involve differential treatment based solely on any number of personal attributes. This would, for example, include the stopping of motorists, the detention of a person, and/or the searching of a vehicle based solely on the individual’s race, ethnic origin, gender, age, or income status.

In other words, there is no legitimate cause to stop. Most law enforcement officers agree this practice is unacceptable. Yet, some law enforcement officers engage in this practice on a regular basis.

The issue of considering race as a personal characteristic for a criminal offense that has been committed is not in question. The use of race, ethnicity, gender, age, or income status as a characteristic in general enforcement is illegal and undeniably discriminatory. Bias-based traffic enforcement is inconsistent with the most valued principles of policing. It is an indefensible police tactic that lurks behind the guise of enforcing the law.

 

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