U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Top Ten Trends: Traffic Enforcement

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 72 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2005 Pages: 30-34
Earl M. Sweeney
Date Published
September 2005
5 pages
This article identifies the top 10 trends in traffic law enforcement in 2005 and discusses ways to address them.
One trend is speed enforcement. Motorists' excessive speed, particularly on rural roads, calls for both an intensive campaign of driver education and targeted enforcement. A second trend is dangerous work zones. Police supervisors should be required to check roadway job sites frequently to ensure that officers who oversee those sites are performing effectively. Fatigued or distracted drivers is a third trend. Many workers put in long hours, making them vulnerable to fatigue and distraction while driving. Rest stops must be patrolled regularly, particularly at night, so motorists will not fear using rest stops for naps when they are fatigued or sleepy. Sleep-deprived officers is a fourth trend. Policies, procedures, and administrative review of overtime assignments should ensure that officers are alert and effective when they patrol the roads. A fifth trend is safer traffic stops. This article outlines ways that officers can increase their safety while performing duties during a traffic stop. New laws and tactics are a sixth trend. Many of these pertain to an officer's detection of law violations, such as drug possession, during a traffic stop. Some of these laws and tactics are mentioned in this article. Another trend pertains to officer safety issues in dealing with new types of vehicles, such as hybrid cars (danger of electrocution from powerful electric systems when dealing with a crash) and dealing with crashes where cars have unexploded airbags that may pose a hazard during crash investigations. Remaining trends that must be addressed in traffic enforcement are drugged drivers, traffic officer involvement in homeland security concerns, and incident clearance.