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Traffic Stops in Nebraska 2010

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2010
37 pages
In compliance with a Nebraska law designed to monitor the characteristics of police traffic stops, particularly regarding the race of the driver and related police actions (concern about racial profiling), this report presents data on traffic stops in Nebraska from 2002 through 2009 as submitted to the Nebraska Crime Commission.
There were 483,268 traffic stops reported to the Crime Commission for 2009. Of the total traffic stops reported, almost two-thirds were by the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) or agencies in Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy Counties. The breakdown of types of stops and related data by race of the driver has stayed relatively consistent throughout the reported years (2002-2009), with certain variations in stop-related searches and stop dispositions. The statewide breakdown of traffic stops by race closely parallels the census population breakdown. The report notes that in and of itself, this does not mean there is no racial profiling. Still, disparities were revealed when examining local populations or jurisdictions. NSP stops Black drivers statewide at two-thirds of the census numbers (3.6 percent of stops compared with 5.5 percent of the population). In 2009, although 1.1 percent of all stops involved a criminal code violation, 4.49 percent of all stops involving Native-American drivers were for criminal violations, as were 2.4 percent of stops of Hispanic drivers. The reason for the stop may influence subsequent decisions and actions in the processing of the traffic stop, including searches. In 2009, 3.5 percent of traffic stops resulted in custodial arrest; however, 13.1 percent of Blacks and 6.5 percent of Hispanics and 8.4 percent of Native Americans stopped were arrested. Asians and Whites were least likely to be arrested (2.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively) and most commonly received a written warning (42.3 percent and 46.3 percent, respectively). 5 tables