Enforcement & Justice Services

High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) Toolkit

High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) is a universal traffic safety approach designed to create deterrence and change unlawful traffic behaviors. HVE combines highly visible and proactive law enforcement targeting a specific traffic safety issue. Law enforcement efforts are combined with visibility elements and a publicity strategy to educate the public and promote voluntary compliance with the law.

Enforcement

High Visibility Enforcement combines enforcement, visibility elements, and a publicity strategy to educate the public and promote voluntary compliance with the law. Checkpoints, saturation patrols and other HVE strategies should include increased publicity and warnings to the public. Although forewarning the public might seem counterproductive to apprehending violators, it actually increases the deterrent effect.

The HVE concept is a departure from traditional law enforcement tactics. HVE incorporates enforcement strategies, such as enhanced patrols using visibility elements (e.g. electronic message boards, road signs, command posts, BAT mobiles, etc.) designed to make enforcement efforts obvious to the public. It is supported by a coordinated communication strategy and publicity. HVE may also be enhanced through multi-jurisdictional efforts and partnerships between people and organizations dedicated to the safety of their community.

Saturation Patrol

Increased squads conducting enforcement in a targeted area to gain voluntary compliance of traffic laws and create general deterrence to prevent traffic violations. Note: increased enforcement must be visible to the motoring public. They need to see officers making traffic stops.

Stopping vehicles, or a specific sequence of vehicles (e.g., every fifth vehicle), at a predetermined fixed location to detect drivers who are impaired by alcohol or other drugs. One purpose of a sobriety checkpoint is to increase the perceived risk of detection and arrest for individuals who might otherwise decide to engage in unsafe driving behavior. This is a checkpoint’s general deterrence effect. The fact that all, or a proportion of, vehicles are stopped reduces the impaired driver’s confidence that they can avoid detection by concealing or compensating for alcohol or drug impairment.

The following documents provide guidance on these enforcement strategies:

Wave

Increased enforcement of a specific traffic violation in a targeted location for a short period of time that occurs periodically.

Example 1. Speed enforcement waves can be conducted several times a month for a few hours, immediately after rush hour when motorists are attempting to make up lost time due to traffic congestion.

Example 2. DWI Waves may be conducted two weekends in one month from 10 pm - 2 am or target a special event that is occurring (e.g., festival, sporting event, St. Patrick's Day).

Integrated Enforcement

High visibility enforcement strategies and elements incorporated into your everyday enforcement. Integrating high visibility traffic enforcement as a standard practice lets the public know that traffic enforcement is an agency priority. It also assists in reducing other crimes while at the same time creates general deterrence and encourages voluntary compliance of traffic laws.

Multi-Jurisdictional

Multi-jurisdictional efforts combine your resources and your efforts with neighboring jurisdictions including “non-traditional” agencies (e.g., park police, campus police, ABC officers, game wardens, etc.)

The multi-jurisdictional approach is a critical countermeasure in traffic safety. When you have more participating agencies, you create a greater police presence, which in turn creates general deterrence because it increases the risk (or perceived risk) that the motoring public will be caught. The enforcement must be highly visible and include an equal balance of enforcement and publicity.

Some benefits of multi-jurisdictional efforts:

  • Provides increased staffing for smaller agencies
  • Expands area of enforcement
  • Expands media opportunities and exposure
  • Helps establish or reinforce cooperation among law enforcement
  • Increases visibility and law enforcement presence

High visibility enforcement should be conducted in locations that are chosen based on data. Enforcement should be in areas that are easily visible to the motoring public and indicate a specific enforcement need due to crashes or crashes and crime. Using geo-mapping to identify “hot spots” – areas of high incidence of crimes and crashes will help you target locations where your enforcement can play two roles in fighting crime and reducing crashes and traffic violations.

Choosing a location that is a high volume traffic area will assist with the visibility of your enforcement efforts. People will see you out there enforcing the traffic laws. This helps create general deterrence and voluntary compliance of laws.

More information on Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS)

The HVE concept is a departure from traditional law enforcement tactics. HVE incorporates enforcement strategies, such as enhanced patrols using visibility elements (e.g. electronic message boards, road signs, command posts, BAT mobiles, etc.) designed to make enforcement efforts obvious to the public. The goal of HVE is to make the motoring public aware of your enforcement efforts and create deterrence. When the perceived risk of getting caught by law enforcement goes up, the likelihood that people will engage in unsafe driving behaviors goes down.

Choose some or all of these visibility elements to enhance your enforcement:

  • Road signs: electronic message boards, pop-up road signs, billboards, etc.
  • Specially marked squads
  • Magnetic HVE signs on patrol vehicles or window clings
  • Specially marked BATmobiles or other command vehicles
  • Specially marked vests
  • Flyers/brochures or business cards handed out to motorists

Prior to conducting your HVE program, ensure that all officers who will be deployed are current on their training and certifications. Conduct refresher training as required. Courses that should be delivered to all officers participating in your HVE may include the following:

  • Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST)
  • ARIDE
  • Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)
  • Vehicle Contact

Measuring effectiveness will be different for each individual agency and type of enforcement. If you are working with a funding source such as your State Highway Safety Office, they will have specific information they want you to report. Check your funding requirements for guidance.

Collecting data will highlight goals that are being accomplished, identify gaps, and help you evaluate the overall effectiveness of your program.

Remember: HVE is designed to change unlawful traffic behaviors and reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. It is not a strategy designed to increase arrests; in fact, it may yield decreased citation counts over time.

What to Measure

When planning your HVE program, it is important to include evaluation early in your planning, so that you can collect data before your event. This data will then be used to measure the amount of change in the behaviors of the motoring public after your HVE has concluded.

Process (Qualitative Evaluation) 

The qualitative evaluation is a look at the success of meeting your HVE program activities—did you do what you planned to do. It looks at activities conducted that may have resulted in a change of behavior. Questions answered in a process evaluation may include:

  • Did we fully implement our program?
  • Did we follow our strategic plan?
  • If we used a multi-jurisdictional approach, did all partner agencies fully participate?
  • How many partner organizations visibly and vocally supported our program?
  • Did we execute our publicity plan—send out the planned number of press releases, make the desired number of follow-up calls, brief as many editorial boards as planned?
  • How many interviews were conducted?
  • How many articles were published?
  • Did the public pick up materials (flyers, stickers, etc.) that were made available?

Outcome (Quantitative Evaluation) 

Quantitative evaluations look at numbers, data, and statistics to measure the impact of the program. Some common measures include:

  • Number of stops
  • Number of citations or arrests
  • Type of citation or arrest
  • Decreases in crashes, injury and fatality
  • Increase in seat belt use
  • Observational studies (number of belts used, number of vehicles left in bar parking lots, etc.)

Remember, the ultimate goal is not to increase the number of arrests or citations, but to change unsafe driving behaviors.

Surveys

Surveys can be particularly useful in measuring the effectiveness of media and publicity. Surveys can be conducted in many ways:  focus groups, interviews, mail or email questionnaires, Internet survey instruments such as Survey Monkey, etc.

Questions that may be asked to determine the effectiveness of your media and publicity campaign include:

  • Did the message reach the target audience?
  • Does the public know the tag line?
  • Did the public pay attention to the message?
  • Does the public believe there was increased enforcement?
  • Does the public perceive a greater risk of receiving a citation or being arrested?
  • Did the public change their behavior because of the media messages?

 Putting Your Evaluation to Work

Based on analyses of data from previous deployments, you will be able to:

  • Adjust your enforcement strategy, including location, time of day, day of week.
  • Adjust your marketing and publicity to better reach your target your audience.
  • Determine the need for additional training.
  • Reallocate budget and resources.
  • Announce the success of your HVE program and thank the community for its support.

Publicity

High Visibility Enforcement must be coordinated and include equal components of Enforcement, Visibility and Publicity (media, messaging and enforcement enhancing elements). The HVE message must emphasize enforcement targeting a specific traffic safety problem.

To enhance the visibility of your enforcement, you must use a combination of ways to alert the motoring public of your efforts. Pick and choose several methods from each category listed below. Even if you are unable to support your enforcement with paid media, you can effectively publicize it by using several tools from the earned media category as well as several tools from the visibility elements.

Your publicity should always include pre-event, during, and post-event messaging. Remember: Tell the motoring public what you are going to do; Do it, and; Tell them what you did.

Sustained Enforcement Message

This educational message component may include general enforcement message (e.g., state law requires you to buckle up) or may inform motorists of consequences to unlawful traffic behavior (such as the cost of citations/arrest/conviction).

Increased Enforcement Message

These are used for crackdowns, checkpoints and saturation patrols. The message must coordinate with an increase in targeted enforcement and alert the motoring public of their increased risk of being caught.

Paid Media

Paid advertising: Advertising you purchase on TV, radio, and print. Paid advertising gets the attention of the target audience to support your enforcement efforts.

Earned Media

Earned media: Publicity you get for free, such as press events, news reports, and articles. Earned media keeps your message active in the community. Typical earned media used to support HVE programs include:

  • Press releases / Press events: Announcing the event; Pre-event; Post-event
  • Letters to the editor; Op-Ed
  • Posters, flyers, brochures
  • Meetings with Editorial Boards
  • Stakeholder letters
  • Social Networking

Template earned media materials are available at www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

Social Media

Social media is a term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and communications through words and pictures, and can expand the opportunity to reach your audience in real time. An agency can post information on a social media site (Facebook Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.) describing its HVE program, promoting voluntary compliance of traffic laws, reporting results, providing notable excuses for violating the law, etc.

There are a number of advantages to using social media over traditional media options:

  • It is immediate. Messages are provided in real time.
  • It is short. Messages are limited to a small number of characters, so it does not take a lot of time to develop (as does a press release).
  • It can go viral. “Fans” can forward your message to their “friends”, greatly expanding its reach. 

There are a number of venues for social media, the most popular of which include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

The goal of publicizing your HVE is to make the motoring public aware of your enforcement efforts and create deterrence. When the perceived risk of getting caught by law enforcement goes up, the likelihood that people will engage in unsafe driving behaviors goes down.

Use some of all of these items to help publicize your enforcement activities:

  • Billboards
  • Electronic message boards
  • Road signs
  • Business marquees
  • Posters

There is no limit to the number of opportunities to engage the public in your HVE programs through an aggressive media campaign. Whether press releases or events, television or radio interviews, or through the variety of social media, opportunities are limitless. All it takes is a little imagination and creativity.

Begin to develop your sustained media strategy with assistance from NHTSA’s Communications Calendar. The calendar, updated annually, provides key dates for HVE efforts across a range of traffic safety programs, as well as primary and secondary target audiences based on national data. During dates identified on the calendar, most law enforcement agencies conduct HVE efforts to blanket the country with enforcement. Template materials including press releases, talking points, posters, etc., for each event listed on the calendar are available on the website to make it easier for agencies to participate.

Tips to Get You Started

Same old thing. Or maybe not! Always let the press know when you are running a high visibility enforcement operation or any special event. Even if they just covered your last enforcement effort a month ago, they may be looking for something to fill space or airtime. The media loves a good story.

  • Top 10 DWI Most Wanted Offenders. Post the 10 most wanted DWI offenders and hold a press conference alerting the public of your enforcement or warrant sweep to get them off the road. Invite the local prosecutor to join the event.
  • Warrant Sweeps. Offer ride-alongs when running warrant sweeps for DUI violators.
  • Probation Searches. Offer ride-alongs when running probation searches on traffic violators.
  • SFST Alcohol Workshop. Invite media to observe and record an alcohol workshop to demonstrate how well trained your officers are.
  • New Information. Issue a press release for each of the following. Always include photos to enhance the release:
    • Every time an officer completes significant training or achieves a significant accomplishment,
    • When your agency receives a grant for new equipment, and
    • When your agency engages a new partner, or rolls out a new public service announcement, or checkpoint handout.
  • Courts In School. Partner with the local high school and traffic or DUI courts to conduct sentencing for an assembly.
  • Top Brass Hits the Streets. Plan a live news event at a checkpoint, with the police chief or sheriff working the Checkpoint.
  • Dedicated Checkpoint. Dedicate a checkpoint in memory or honor of a victim/survivor. Invite victim/survivor family members to attend the checkpoint roll call. Invite the press to the roll call briefing.
  • Creative multi-jurisdictional HVE efforts. Invite press to joint operations with neighboring jurisdictions, park or marine police, to focus on the fact that enforcement will be in full force on the roadways, waterways and parks.
  • Recognition and Awards. Whether a plaque, certificate, or handshake, make sure to issue a press release identifying your top performers and key partners. Invite the press to all award ceremonies and follow up with a photo and press release.
  • That's Outrageous! You may have seen it all, but the public hasn’t. Or maybe something is so outrageous that it even makes you shake your head in disbelief. Write a release about the guy with this 4th/5th/6th, etc. DUI, the wrong-way driver on the freeway, the texter who hit someone in a wheelchair, the speeder who blacked out a neighborhood for two hours by hitting the pole ... you get the idea. The more you keep them coming, the more the community understands the problems and your efforts.
  • Roll Call Briefing. Invite the media to attend your roll call briefing prior to your HVE enforcement or checkpoint. Offer ride-alongs if your agency policy permits them. Be sure to rotate roll call to include each agency in a multi-jurisdictional effort.
  • No Refusal Weekends. Invite the media as you conduct this enforcement strategy that allows officers to obtain search warrants for blood samples from suspected impaired drivers who refuse to submit to breath tests. For more information and a “How To” kit, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drunk-driving/no-refusal-toolkit.

Old Events with a New Twist

Memorial Day or Halloween. Hold a press event at a local cemetery.  For Memorial Day, the theme would be that it’s an honor for a fallen veteran to be laid to rest there, but tragic for a victim of a traffic crash. For Halloween, the theme would be that it’s fun to dress up like ghosts; it’s not fun to follow up a Halloween party with a DWI crash that lands you or someone else in the cemetery.

Jail House. Hold a media event in the jail in an area with a good visual backdrop. The message is that jail is a lousy place to spend time and prison is even worse.

Visibility Elements

The HVE concept is a departure from traditional law enforcement tactics. HVE incorporates enforcement strategies, such as enhanced patrols using visibility elements (e.g. electronic message boards, road signs, command posts, BAT mobiles, etc.) designed to make enforcement efforts obvious to the public. The goal of HVE is to make the motoring public aware of your enforcement efforts and create deterrence. When the perceived risk of getting caught by law enforcement goes up, the likelihood that people will engage in unsafe driving behaviors goes down.

Examples of elements to enhance your enforcement:

  • Electronic message boards
  • Pop-up road signs
  • Billboards
  • Specially marked squads
  • Magnetic HVE signs on patrol vehicles or window clings
  • Specially marked BATmobiles or other command vehicles
  • Specially marked vests
  • Flyers/brochures or business cards handed out to motorist

Implementation

High Visibility Enforcement is a universal traffic safety approach designed to create deterrence and change unlawful traffic behaviors. HVE combines highly visible and proactive law enforcement targeting a specific traffic safety issue. Law enforcement efforts are combined with visibility elements and a publicity strategy to educate the public and promote voluntary compliance with the law.

Law enforcement agencies should develop sustained HVE plans across all areas of traffic safety using the HVE approach: Enforcement, Visibility, and Publicity.

Some other areas that may assist with HVE implementation, or enhance current HVE are: working with community partners, and reward and recognition programs.

Community support may enhance an effective HVE program. Building partnerships with advocacy and health care organizations, businesses, schools and youth groups, etc. may help provide the public support for increased law enforcement aimed at protecting a community from unsafe drivers. Each partnership brings different strengths and abilities to the table – together, they can greatly enhance your HVE efforts.

When building partnerships, work within your own environment. If you live in a small community you may not have advocacy groups or organizations to partner with, but your local insurance agent, health care provider, or other local business may be interested in getting involved.

Each of the partners and their organizations provide a specific benefit to an HVE program because of their standing in the community or their commitment to the safety of their community.

Local Leaders (State, Country, Local Level) 

These people can provide support for you to implement or participate in an HVE program, either individually or as one of a multi-jurisdictional effort. Support often comes from the top down from local leadership (governor, county executive, mayor, county/city council, chief, sheriff, etc.). For that reason, it is imperative that these key individuals be informed about the importance of such enforcement to keep the jurisdiction safe. Use local information to educate this group on the specific problem and the HVE countermeasure to reduce the consequences associated with the problem. Gaining the support of political and local leaders may assist in the implementation of your HVE program and enhance its success.

Law Enforcement Agencies

“For law enforcement agencies, it’s 'what’s in it for me.' With current data, I can talk with law enforcement and give them something they can use. 'We’ve lowered the traffic problems, but have also lowered home invasions, motor vehicle thefts, etc.'  We need to pass this along to give chiefs and sheriffs more ammunition.”  -- Gary Coe, NHTSA Region 8, Law Enforcement Liaison

Multi-Jurisdictional Efforts

Combine your resources and your efforts with neighboring jurisdictions including “non-traditional agencies (park police, campus police, ABC officers, game wardens, etc.)

The multi-jurisdictional approach is a critical countermeasure in traffic safety. When you have more patrol vehicles in service, you create a greater police presence, which in turn creates general deterrence because it increases the risk (or perceived risk) that the motoring public will be caught. The enforcement must be highly visible and include an equal balance of enforcement, visibility elements, and publicity.

Some of the benefits of multi-jurisdictional efforts include the following:

  • Provides increased staffing for smaller agencies.
  • Expands areas of enforcement.
  • Expands media opportunities and exposure.
  • Helps establish or reinforce cooperation among law enforcement.

Criminal Justice Stakeholders

Increased citations and arrests result in increased workloads across the criminal justice system. It is important to notify criminal justice stakeholders of your HVE program so they can plan for those increases.

Invite these stakeholders to be partners in your HVE efforts from the beginning to establish support for your common goals and HVE efforts:

  • Prosecutors
  • Judges
  • Court liaisons
  • Clerks of the court
  • Probation and parole personnel (especially DUI/drug courts)
  • Toxicologists and laboratory personnel
  • Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP)
  • Judicial Outreach Liaison (JOL)

State-Level Organizations and Associatons

  • State Highway Safety Office
  • State Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) or NHTSA Regional LEL
  • Chiefs/Sheriffs Associations

National-Level Law Enforcement Associations

While these associations may not be active partners in your HVE efforts, law enforcement associations may be a source for networking, learning promising practices, and identifying new agencies with which to partner.

Advocacy Groups, Organizations and Traffic Safety Coalitions

There are a variety of groups and organizations that support traffic safety and can lend their assistance in promoting HVE programs. Building a partnership with advocacy groups, organizations, traffic safety coalitions, healthcare groups, and business provides an opportunity to combine the efforts of many people working on a common goal.

These groups often can assist with establishing community support for law enforcement efforts. In addition, they can help with your public awareness by contacting local businesses for their support, writing letters to the editor, participating in press events, and more.

If you don’t already have a partnership with these groups, find a person or group who is passionate about, or involved with traffic safety. Contact this person or group and express your interest in working with them to implement or enhance your HVE efforts.

Be sure to include advocacy groups and traffic safety partners during initial planning if you are considering multi-jurisdictional HVE. These groups may be able to assist you to gain support and participation from other jurisdictions, community leaders, and other stakeholders.

Traffic Safety Advocate Associations

  • MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
  • SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)
  • SafeKids
  • NOYS (National Organization for Youth Safety)
  • TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management)
  • CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America)

Medical Associations

Minority Associations

Media

Establish media contacts to assist with your educational and enforcement messages. The media will not be a partner in the planning or implementation of your HVE program, but establishing a network of media contacts early is a critical component in high visibility enforcement.

Many elements in the timeline identify key activities for developing a sustained strategy across a variety of traffic safety programs. It's a good idea to establish a strategic plan with the input of all involved stakeholders, partners, and agencies. Your HVE strategic plan must be fluid to accommodate individual enforcement efforts or changes within any given deployment (e.g. type of enforcement, time of year, weather conditions, staffing levels, community needs, etc.).

Use local data to target your sustained enforcement as well as your enhanced deployments for specific enforcement such as speed or impaired driving. As an added boost, coordinate your efforts with campaigns already scheduled through your State Highway Safety Office or NHTSA. A good starting point is NHTSA’s calendar.

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, each individual HVE effort can be planned and conducted in a relatively short timeframe, generally reducing your planning time to a few short weeks.

Laying the Groundwork, 9-12 Months Before the Program

  • Identify stakeholders and partners. Enlist their support and assistance.
  • Convene a meeting of all stakeholders and partners who will be involved. If you will be conducting multi-jurisdictional efforts, it is important to invite all agencies and their stakeholders and partners.
  • Assess personnel who will be conducting the enforcement to ensure they have necessary training, legal updates, policy information, etc.
  • Alert prosecutors and court personnel of the HVE program

 6-9 Months Before the Program

  • Plan enforcement strategies (types of enforcement and deployment operations, e.g., sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols). If you will be conducting multi-jurisdictional enforcement, include all agencies.
  • Plan visibility strategies and elements, make sure your signage and equipment (e.g., HVE vests, road signs, vehicle magnets, etc.) are available, clean, and in good repair.
  • Plan media and publicity.
  • Identify data you will need for your evaluation.

3-6 Months Before the Program

  • Choose launch date.
  • Meet with all law enforcement agencies, stakeholders and partners to define and agree upon the roles and responsibilities of each.
  • Create a Directed Activity Mission, Memorandum of Understanding, or similar agreement, detailing the program.
  • Plan your media strategy; enlist partner support.
  • Identify, through data, the primary focus for the press event (e.g., youth enforcement, impaired motorcycle operators, etc.).
  • Notify prosecutors and court personnel of the dates of your program and the possibility of increased workloads.
  • Order any new signage or equipment that may be required, as well as additional copies of brochures, business cards or other educational information that you plan to provide to motorists during the program.
  • Ensure that any necessary training has been scheduled.

1-3 Months Before the Program

  • Ensure that all educational materials have been printed and delivered.
  • Work with volunteers and partners to make arrangements for them to provide assistance as needed.
  • Select the location for the press event. Rotate the location and host if you are conducting multi-jurisdictional efforts to ensure that all players are equal partners.
    • The location should relate to the key message (“hook”) for the HVE.
    • Ensure that the location is large enough to accommodate all props (e.g., BATmobiles, new equipment, etc.) and demonstrations.
    • If your media event will be held outside, be sure to have an alternative location in case of inclement weather
  • Confirm the availability of all speakers; obtain bios.
  • Prepare press kits, including a list of speakers with bios, talking points, national and local data, etc.
  • Reserve props for the press event (e.g., BATmobiles, new breath test equipment, etc.).
  • Complete all officer training, refresher training, and legal updates.

2-4 Weeks Before the Program

  • Brief assigned staff on all aspects of the program
    • Locations and times,
    • Educational materials (e.g., business/post card explaining the HVE program),
    • Reporting requirements and forms.
  • Begin sending media advisories and press releases to local media.
  • Encourage partners/stakeholders to submit letters to the editor or op/ed articles to the local media in support of the HVE program.

1 Week Before the Program

  • Send an email media advisory to the local media, inviting them to the press event.
  • Invite key media to participate in the program beyond the event, either at a checkpoint or through ride-alongs, as allowed by departmental policy.
  • Remind prosecutors and court personnel of the upcoming HVE program.
  • Conduct a volunteer orientation meeting, advising volunteers of all agency policies or regulations that apply to their role in the HVE program (obtain signed waivers as necessary).

3 Days Before the Program

  • Change the location of the event if weather forecasts predict inclement weather.
  • Contact all speakers to re-confirm location/time of the press event.
  • Confirm that all props are available for the event.
  • Contact media and confirm the event time and location, particularly if either has changed.

Day of the Program

  • Conduct the press event.
  • Be available, with stakeholders/partners, for media interviews. Provide photo opportunities for the media that relate to your “hook” or enforcement efforts, such as car seat demonstrations, checkpoint enforcement road sign, or even something as simple as a marked squad car or officers in uniform.

During the Program

  • Provide drivers with a business/post card explaining the reason for the program and thanking them for their cooperation.
  • Post daily results (if known) on the agency’s website and social networks (Facebook, Twitter).
  • Be available for media interviews.

After the Program

  • Immediately distribute press release reporting results of the program.
  • Arrange interviews with local media to thank the community for their cooperation and support, noting that their community is safer.
  • With partners, plan a recognition event for all agencies, officers and stakeholders who participated in the program.

Each HVE effort will be individualized and require a different level of planning. A two-week long impaired driving crackdown, or multi-jurisdictional deployment requires more planning than a one agency, one night blitz after a college football game. The key is to have a solid, but fluid, long-term strategic plan.

After the strategic plan has been adopted, your HVE operations, strategies, and elements can be planned and implemented rather quickly. The following list includes the minimum requirements for planning a brief HVE effort:

  • Identify the type of enforcement (saturation patrol, checkpoint, speed, alcohol, etc.).
  • Identify the location(s) and times of enforcement based on data.
  • Identify strategies and elements to enhance the visibility of your enforcement.
  • Notify prosecutors and court personnel of the HVE activity.
  • Engage assistance from partners and stakeholders
    • Submit letters to the editor, supporting press releases,
    • Obtain volunteer assistance at a checkpoint (check your agency policy).
  • Send a media alert to local newspapers and radio, inviting their participation in the press event and making yourself available for interviews.
  • Issue a press release and post the HVE activity on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Immediately following the event, issue a press release reporting the results of the HVE activity and thanking the community for their support.

Recognition and reward are important elements of a successful HVE program. Recognition can come in many forms. The following list identifies some methods used to recognize individuals and organizations responsible for the success of your HVE effort:

  • Types of awards:
    • Medals/certificates/special coins or lapel pins for top performing officers,
    • Equipment (e.g., PBTs, pop-up road signs, magnets, specially marked vests, etc.) for top performers,
    • Plaques, certificates, and letters to officers and partner organizations,
  • Letters to the editor on your local paper, thanking partners for their participation.
  • Functions (luncheons/meetings) to recognize participating agencies, partners, and officers (always invite the press and follow up with a press release).
  • IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge

Measuring effectiveness will be different for each individual agency and type of enforcement. If you are working with a funding source such as your State Highway Safety Office, they will have specific information they want you to report. Check your funding requirements for guidance.

Collecting data will highlight goals that are being accomplished, identify gaps, and help you evaluate the overall effectiveness of your program.

Remember: HVE is designed to change unlawful traffic behaviors and reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. It is not a strategy designed to increase arrests; in fact, it may yield decreased citation counts over time

Process (Qualitative Evaluation) 

The qualitative evaluation is a look at the success of meeting your HVE program activities—did you do what you planned to do. It looks at activities conducted that may have resulted in a change of behavior. Questions answered in a process evaluation may include:

  • Did we fully implement our program?
  • Did we follow our strategic plan?
  • If we used a multi-jurisdictional approach, did all partner agencies fully participate?
  • How many partner organizations visibly and vocally supported our program?
  • Did we execute our publicity plan—send out the planned number of press releases, make the desired number of follow-up calls, brief as many editorial boards as planned?
  • How many interviews were conducted?
  • How many articles were published?
  • Did the public pick up materials (flyers, stickers, etc.) that were made available?

Outcome (Quantitative Evaluation) 

Quantitative evaluations look at numbers, data, and statistics to measure the impact of the program. Some common measures include:

  • Number of stops
  • Number of citations or arrests
  • Type of citation or arrest
  • Decreases in crashes, injury and fatality
  • Increase in seat belt use
  • Observational studies (number of belts used, number of vehicles left in bar parking lots, etc.)

Remember, the ultimate goal is not to increase the number of arrests or citations, but to change unsafe driving behaviors.

Surveys

Surveys can be particularly useful in measuring the effectiveness of media and publicity. Surveys can be conducted in many ways:  focus groups, interviews, mail or email questionnaires, Internet survey instruments such as Survey Monkey, etc.

Questions that may be asked to determine the effectiveness of your media and publicity campaign include:

  • Did the message reach the target audience?
  • Does the public know the tag line?
  • Did the public pay attention to the message?
  • Does the public believe there was increased enforcement?
  • Does the public perceive a greater risk of receiving a citation or being arrested?
  • Did the public change their behavior because of the media messages?

Putting Your Evaluation to Work

  • Based on analyses of data from previous deployments, you will be able to:
  • Adjust your enforcement strategy, including location, time of day, day of week.
  • Adjust your marketing and publicity to better reach your target your audience.
  • Determine the need for additional training.
  • Reallocate budget and resources.
  • Announce the success of your HVE program and thank the community for its support.

Resources

Federal Agencies

NHTSA

Regional Offices

Department of Justice

Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS)

 

SHSOs/GHSA

State Highway Safety Offices

Data Sources

Fatal Analysis Reporting System

State Traffic Safety Data

State Laws permitting sobriety checkpoints

 

Communications

NHTSA annually prepares two comprehensive communications resources to help agencies plan a yearlong strategic communications plan and a calendar for HVE events, www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/calendars.

In addition, NHTSA provides template materials (press releases, talking points, posters, etc.), for individual program areas, as follows:

 

Reference Material

Uniform Guidelines for State Highway Safety Programs, Impaired Driving

Impaired Driving Guidebook: Three Keys to Renewed Focus and Success

Saturation Patrols and Sobriety Checkpoints Guide

Traffic Safety Facts, Alcohol-Impaired Driving (2016)

Low-Staffing Sobriety Checkpoints

Creating Impaired Driving General Deterrence

The Visual Detection of DWI Motorists