Zoom Logo

The State of Enforcement in Traffic Safety - Shared screen with speaker view
Alistair Watson
15:03
Hello all!
Todd Hartline
15:37
HI!
Alistair Watson
19:28
Are people from around the World or just the US? I’m dialing in from Arlington, Virginia
Hormoz Zakeri
20:02
Hi every one. Hormoz Zakeri from Iran.
Peter Flanders
20:10
From Australia Alistair
Todd Hartline
20:12
Carson City, Nevada
Jason Senekkis
20:18
Watching you Nicosia in Cyprus.
Paul Supawanich
21:37
Hi everyone, Paul Supawanich here with NACTO-GDCI, currently baed in Atlanta, GA
Alistair Watson
23:27
Omg! International group
Heidi Simon
26:44
Glad to have everyone here! Please remember to share questions and comments here or in the q/a box
Heidi Simon
30:13
https://transportation.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/examining-equity-in-transportation-safety-enforcement
Peter Flanders
34:22
Wow really interesting to hear those study results. We simply do not have that in Australia. We are totally behaviour related. No one is that important that the colour of their skin makes any difference to policing.
Brandy Axdahl
41:25
Who from LE is represented on the Equity Coalition?
Alistair Watson
43:16
I have another meeting to go too! Peace and love my fellow safety nuts
Robert Viola
46:04
Would love to hear thoughts on the fatality spike in the USA. We tend to blame it on the pandemic, but travel and traffic is back to ALMOST normal and the trend still continues. Also, in the EU traffic fatalities dropped during the initial lockdown and then went back to normal - no spike. The spike in the USA may be more connected to the protests last summer and the subsequent drop in police enforcement. Also crime has spiked, further draining police resources. The EU did not have a homicide spike, so their enforcement may not have dropped. In NYC, traffic enforcement is at about 50% of historic levels.
Peter Flanders
46:55
Changing the lens changes the focus. People don’t violate traffic laws. They violate safety laws. Traffic safety is about risk assessment and risk acceptability in the mind of each road user.
Michael Hanson
49:18
Decreased enforcement has to be considered as closely connected to what we are seeing. No deterrent effect if enforcement (consequences) are minimized.
Sarah Risser
50:41
On the topic of discretion - many survivors of fatal crashes are concerned that seriously reckless behaviors (with the exception of DUI) are almost always dismissed with a shrug and no meaningful consequence is given.
Eileen Mccarthy
52:22
Police enforcement is only one aspect of enforcement. Do any of the speakers have thoughts on the roles of prosecutors and courts and how well they work?
Bruce Dughi
52:35
If you want to kill someone without repercussion, just drive over them.
Todd Hartline
52:37
I just retired from LE in the Spring of '21 as a Captain and now work for my state's Highway Safety Office. One strategy that is sometime used by LE agencies, especially during those times when we know drunk and drugged drivers are most often using our roadways, is to make several enforcement stops, whether for minor equipment violations or the display of risky driving behaviors because the more contacts made equals a greater likelihood the officer will come across an impaired driver. Have you heard this from LE agencies you have met with regarding the equity discussion and how do you view this strategy when the ultimate goal is to remove impaired drivers from our roadways?
Heidi Simon
54:22
Sarah's book- https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/books/257/
Sarah Risser
54:34
Question to MADD any comment on that at-fault drivers who behave recklessly and who kill other road users who many not be under the influence are rarely held accountable?
Heidi Simon
54:43
Data set: https://openpolicing.stanford.edu/
Heidi Simon
54:54
First ques: How can the traffic safety industry learn from past and current themes within enforcement to improve its role in reducing fatalities and injuries?
Peter Flanders
55:12
Seriously Sarah, the connection between traffic offenders and criminals is so connected they can never be separated. Please take a week in a police car to see. I am so disappointed in this presentation. Why did you not get an operational police officer on the panel. Police never know who they are pulling over. I say this with 38 years police experience including in indigenous communities.
Heather Christianson
55:14
If traffic enforcement won't equal criminal law enforcement...how are we supposed to catch the Ted Bundy's of the world? Would you want a unit for just criminal enforcement? That wouldn't work either, there would be more discrimination
Michael Hanson
56:49
Todd your comment goes right to the heart and purpose of High Visibility Enforcement activities. The contacts serve the purpose of raising the awareness of a targeted behavior. More contacts = a higher level of awareness.
Anthony Molina
57:35
Is color-blinded automated enforcement the solution?
Robert Viola
58:23
Since 2014, the NYPD has moved significantly away from equipment, insurance, tinted window violations, etc (bout 50% drop) and increased safety violation (failure to yield, speeding, red light running, etc) enforcement by about 30%...this period (until 2020) coincided with large drops in traffic fatalities in NYC
Ken McLeod
58:43
Are there good examples of law enforcement agencies pushing for the better engineering? Like better designed streets and vehicle technology that can address unsafe behaviors so that we rely less on law enforcement
Robert Viola
01:00:48
It is worth noting the communities of color are disproportionally represented as the VICTIMS of traffic violence and crashes. So enforcement helps them MORE. The spike during 2020-21 was primarily amongst Black and Hispanics.
Amy Davey
01:01:27
@Robert Viola, good point
Peter Flanders
01:01:40
Drivers who have a tail light out are also the ones who don’t quite stop t a stop sign, who don’t put their seat belt on until they get out of their street. They are the ones who drive how they live and build a risk profile over time, thereby creating a risky driver. The importance intercepting drivers for very minor infringements cannot be overstated in road safety. Other drivers seeing someone pulled over is critical to the generalised enforcement program. Colour does not come into it.
Jason Senekkis
01:01:46
Focusing on road-user behaviour change is wrong. There are many other factors that need to be improved that will lead to behaviour change. If only one factor (behaviour) is targeted, while others are not improved, success will never come. A national systemic approach is required. A safe system approach.
Leah Shahum
01:02:24
We invite folks to continue this conversation next week. Vision Zero Network is collaborating w/ others to re-think the role of enforcement in traffic safety work. Details: https://visionzeronetwork.org/event-type/webinars/
Michael Hanson
01:03:03
That is a great point---data is key and it is sorely lacking in many states!
Cesi Velez
01:03:23
Traffic enforcement is used as traffic education. Traffic is a useful tool to also find and identify felons and those with significant criminal history. How many contacts were made due to an object hanging on the rear view mirror? In 20+years working in traffic safety, I have not seen this used for a traffic stop.
Brandy Axdahl
01:04:23
The role of enforcement is vital and they need to be part of the discussion and needs to be part of the overall conversation.
Cesi Velez
01:04:52
It should be five "E"s to include Education.
Peter Flanders
01:06:42
With 21400 deaths in US in 6 months of 2021,; who are the greatest criminals in society? I would safely bet no other part of policing has so many human caused deaths to deal with.
Sarah Risser
01:08:01
Police reports are notoriously inaccurate.
Russ Martin
01:08:05
GHSA's 2021 Annual Meeting featured a General Session on "Achieving Greater Equity in Traffic Safety Enforcement and Engagement." The full recording is available for viewing here: https://vimeo.com/605782073
Amy Davey
01:08:14
@Peter Flanders, agree. Traffic violence is highly attributable to law-breaking conduct. Or shall we go back to calling them "accidents"?
Stephanie Manning
01:08:22
MADD's two major national priorities are ensuring fair and equitable traffic safety enforcement AND the passage of the HALT/RIDE Acts. Identifying equitable enforcement best practices will ensure that traffic safety enforcement WILL continue - because it can. And the HALT?RIDE Act requires NHTSA do a rulemaking requiring impaired driving prevention technology on all new vehicles. The technology exists. The legislation has strong bipartisan support and is included in the bipartisan infrastructure package. Technology will help reduce inequtiies.
Sarah Risser
01:09:08
I’ll say it again. Police reports are notoriously inaccurate
Jonathan Adkins
01:09:15
Some states do not allow for the type of data collection being referenced. The Road to Zero Coalition could play a role in state and local law changes that will lead to better data collection.
Amy Davey
01:11:11
@ Stephanie Manning and Sarah Risser, race/ethnicity data is frequently collected by "officer observation" and not as a form of official (driver's license or self-identification) record. So yes, you are placing extra responsibility on LEOs to determine race ethnicity at the roadside based on name or appearance.
Michael Hanson
01:11:21
To the general point of separating traffic law enforcement and policing, as mobile as our society has become I don't think the two functions can be divorced. But there are ways to improve both.
Robert Viola
01:11:35
This whole conversation is being driven by an idea that the police should do less traffic enforcement because of the damage that is done to people who are pulled over. I would like to point out that in NYC, only one person has been killed since 2015 in a vehicle stop (and that was warranted). In only 2% of traffic safety stops was force used. The NYPD writes about 1million tickets a year, so that is .01% of encounters leading to force. This is a very small number. It is worth thinking about this as we consider reducing, changing or reassigning traffic enforcement.
Jason Senekkis
01:12:31
Listening to experts from the US saying that there's not enough data is surprising. Action must be taken to deal with known and global issues. Safer cars, roads, speeds, drivers and of course post crash care. Data will never be enough and if you are waiting to gather all of it, you'll never start implementation that will save lives.
Leah Shahum
01:13:08
Ditto Jason’s comment. Waiting for more data feels like a cop-out, no pun intended:)
Robert Viola
01:13:25
good thanks I appreciate your answer!
Hormoz Zakeri
01:15:05
Thanks a lot.
Scott McConkey
01:15:36
We are in a mobile society where everything gets in a car and goes down the road, both for good and bad. We can not separate traffic safety from police work for that reason. Its too connected to separate. Thanks for your time.
Natalie Zerucha
01:15:43
Love the passion Stephanie, totoaaly agree!
Sarah Risser
01:15:48
Thank you
Jenn Fox
01:16:05
Thanks!
Todd Hartline
01:16:15
Thank you!
Jiguang Zhao
01:16:17
Thank you!