5. PROGRAM EVALUATION

This section describes program evaluation procedures and results. It includes information obtained from the police special enforcement stop form, the neighborhood mailed opinion and knowledge survey, and speed data collected during the conduct of the study. It also contains process data that were obtained from focus groups/discussions with the engineering and police representatives from both cities as well as with representatives from the various study neighborhoods.

The focus of the evaluation was on obtaining information that could be linked to both the actual speed response in the studied neighborhoods and the extent to which any change towards lower speeds was the result of deterrence produced by Heed the Speed activities. Since it is not reasonable to presume that police will always be present to witness speeding violations and available to take enforcement action, the deterrence of the unsafe behavior is crucial to a reduction in pedestrian crash risk. The operative theory is that increased enforcement will generate specific deterrence among those stopped and warned or cited for speeding. In addition, a general deterrence of speeding should result among those who witness the increased enforcement activity as well as among those whose attitudes and values are altered by the messages in the Heed the Speed educational materials.

When viewing these data, the reader should keep in mind that the project essentially consisted of 10 separate case studies as described earlier. Only the speed data, however, were sufficiently differentiated to permit a separate assessment of each of the 10 test segments. The police data did include an indication of where each speeding stop was made which permitted this information to be disaggregated by neighborhood. It was not possible, however, to determine what proportion of the special police patrol time was allotted to each road segment. The mail survey was sent out anonymously and precoded by neighborhood but not specific address and therefore could not be broken down by road segment.

5.1 Police Special Enforcement

Additional hours of police patrols were incorporated in each neighborhood for the project enforcement activities. This special enforcement was performed in addition to routine neighborhood patrols.

During the special enforcement time periods, any vehicle traveling faster than the posted speed limit by any amount was subject to being stopped. This represented a change from normal practice in which motorists could exceed the speed limit by five to seven miles per hour with virtual impunity as long as their driving behavior was not erratic.

When a stop was made during the program, the officer approached the vehicle, announced the violation, and performed a routine check on the driver's license. With regard to the speeding violation, only drivers who were flagrantly disobeying the law, who were stopped multiple times, or who were rude were ticketed initially. As the study period progressed, however, a higher percentage of speeding tickets were issued as the tolerance of the participating officers diminished.

Drivers who were not ticketed received a verbal warning and a facsimile of a police ticket. The back of the facsimile ticket contained a message for drivers that pointed out the dangers and penalties of speeding. A copy of the speeding message is included in the countermeasures reproduced in Appendix C.

For each driver stopped, the officer filled out a motorist stop form, a copy of which is included in Appendix D. This form was designed to obtain a profile on the drivers who were speeding in the various neighborhoods. In addition to the date and time of the stop, it consisted of 11 items that provided the following information:

  • The test neighborhood in which the stop was made
  • Specific street on which the stop was made
  • Proximity of the driver's address to the neighborhood in which the stop was made
  • Gender of the driver
  • Date of driver's birth
  • Driver's safety belt use
  • How often driver travels on the street on which stopped
  • Number of people in the vehicle
  • Vehicle type
  • Vehicle model year
  • Officer's action, (i.e., if the officer gave the driver a ticket and/or literature that provided information on the dangers of speeding)

Unless otherwise noted, when data were missing for a particular item, the record for that stop has been excluded from the summary tables that follow pertaining to the missing item. The second item (street on which the stop was made) was only used to confirm the neighborhood identification as necessary and was not analyzed separately.

5.5.1 Location and Month of the Stops

The police stop form data from Peoria were collected over a three-month period starting on October 23, 2002, and ending on January 17, 2003. Collection of the stop form data in Phoenix also started on October 23, 2002. However, data in Phoenix were collected over a six-month period ending on April 15, 2003. The returns obtained from each Peoria neighborhood during the three study months are shown in Table 2. Those obtained from Phoenix are shown in Table 3. It should be noted that these data are only a profile of those people stopped during the program and not an estimate of the incidence of speeding in the test neighborhoods.

Table 2 shows that 283 stops were made in Peoria during the three-month study period – an average of 94 stops per month. The largest percentage of stops were made in the 95th Avenue neighborhood (45.9%), and the smallest in Bell Park (19.4%). In addition, the largest percentage of stops were made in the first study month (47.3%), followed by the second (28.6%), and the third (24%). Given the demonstrated reduction in speeding (see below), there were likely fewer violators for the police to stop. It is also possible that there was some waning of police interest that also contributed to the decline in stops over time.

Table 2. Police Stops by Neighborhood and Study Month (Peoria)

Study Month
Neighborhood

95th Avenue

Desert Harbor/91st Avenue

Bell Park/84th Avenue

Total

 

1–Oct 23 to Nov 16

Count

56

29

49

134

Row %

41.8%

21.6%

36.6%

100%

Column %

43.1%

29.6%

89.1%

47.3%

2–Nov 17 to Dec 14

Count

48

33

0

81

Row %

59.3%

40.7%

0%

0%

Column %

36.9%

33.7%

0%

28.6%

3–Dec 15 to Jan 18

Count

26

36

6

68

Row %

38.2%

52.9%

8.8%

100%

Column %

20%

36.7%

10.9%

24%

Total

Count

130

98

55

283

Row %

45.9%

34.6%

19.4%

100%

Column %

100%

100%

100%

100%

 

Table 3. Police Stops by Neighborhood and Study Month ( Phoenix )

Study Month
Neighborhood

Sweetwater

Moon Valley/Coral Gables

Clarendon

Total

1–Oct 23 to Nov 16

Count

23

135

29

187

Row %

12.3%

72.2%

15.5%

100%

Column %

7.2%

32.5%

50.9%

23.6%

2–Nov 17 to Dec 14

Count

47

51

13

111

Row %

42.3%

45.9%

11.7%

100%

Column %

14.6%

12.3%

22.8%

14%

3–Dec 15 to Jan 18

Count

16

10

7

33

Row %

48.5%

30.3%

21.2%

100%

Column %

5%

2.4%

12.3%

4.2%

4–Jan 19 to Feb 15

Count

149

145

1

295

Row %

50.5%

49.2%

.3%

100%

Column %

46.4%

34.9%

1.8%

37.1%

5–Feb 16 to Mar 15

Count

55

60

7

122

Row %

45.1%

49.2%

5.7%

100%

Column %

17.1%

14.4%

12.3%

15.4%

6–Mar 16 to Apr 15

Count

31

15

0

46

Row %

67.4%

32.6%

.0%

100%

Column %

9.7%

3.6%

.0%

5.8%

Total

Count

321

416

57

794

Row %

40.4%

52.4%

7.2%

100%

Column %

100%

100%

100%

100%

 

In Bell Park , 89.1 percent of the stops were made in the first study month, none in the second, and 10.9 percent in the third. In the 95th Avenue neighborhood, 43.1 percent of the stops were made during the first month, followed by 36.9 percent in the second, and 20 percent in the third. The stops made in the Desert Harbor neighborhood were distributed reasonably evenly over the three-month period. This was the pattern of enforcement activity that the police in Peoria chose to execute. In particular, the intent was to concentrate enforcement in the Bell Park area during the first two weeks and then stop when the speed tables were installed on 84 th Avenue . In practice, the installation of the speed tables was delayed. However, the original plan for heavy enforcement in Bell Park in the first two weeks was carried out. It was then stopped and not started again until near the end of the program in Peoria .

Table 3 shows that 794 police stops were made in Phoenix during the six-month period – an average of 132 stops per month. The largest percentage of stops in Phoenix took place in the Moon Valley/Coral Gables neighborhood (52.4%), followed by the Sweetwater neighborhood (40.4%), and the Clarendon neighborhood (7.2%). There was a great deal of variability in percentage of stops per month ranging from 37.1 percent for month 4 (January 19 to February 15) to 4.2 percent for month 3 (the month in which the Christmas/New Year holidays occurred). In general, there was a spurt for the first study month followed by two months of gradual decline. There was then another spurt in the fourth month followed by another two months of gradual decline.

With regard to Phoenix neighborhoods, half of the police stops made in the Clarendon neighborhood (50.9%) were made in the first study month. Almost one-quarter (22.8%) were made in the second study month. No stops were made during the last study month. For Sweetwater, the largest percentage of stops were made in month 4 (46.4% for January 19 to February 15) followed by 17.1 percent in month 5 (February 16 to March 15). For the Moon Valley/Coral Gables neighborhood, the largest percentage of stops were made in month 4 (34.9% for January 19 to February 15), followed by month 1 (32.5% for October 23 to November 16).