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

Understanding Bias-Based Traffic law Enforcement


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Traffic Enforcement

Community Outreach

Data Collection


Legislation and
Case Law


This assessment is intended to serve as a tool for managers to evaluate the agency’s policies and practices to determine if habits exist that could lead to a negative image of the department in the community.

  1. Has your law enforcement agency taken a proactive action regarding bias-based traffic law enforcement?

  2. How many civil rights complaints has your department received during the past year? What percentage is related to traffic stops?

  3. Has your department been negatively portrayed in the media regarding community relations or biased traffic enforcement?

  4. Do you collect data on race, ethnicity, etc.?

  5. Have you authorized department-wide use of in-car video systems?

  6. Is there an effective citizen complaint system in place and is the department responsive?

  7. Do you have supervisory control that can identify (early alert) officers who may have patterns of bias-based traffic enforcement?

  8. Does your agency have disciplinary policies and training established for officers with patterns of bias-based traffic enforcement?

  9. Has your agency instituted proactive actions in building relations with the minority community (for example, meetings with community leaders and neighborhood associations) before problems exist?


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