Quantifying the Safety Impacts of Reduced Traffic Enforcement

A decade-long downward trend in police traffic enforcement has been exacerbated by recent internal and external pressures on law enforcement agencies. Recent declines in traffic citations have been attributed, in part, to the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing challenges. The reduction in traffic enforcement activity may provide an opportunity to evaluate safety impacts when the enforcement treatment is reduced, and consequently be an indicator of the relative value associated with traffic enforcement. Research is needed to develop a better understanding of the relationship between enforcement and safety outcomes, and to show how changes in enforcement activity/investments may or may not affect safety outcomes. Quantifying the safety outcomes of traffic enforcement can potentially contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the efficacy of enforcement. Outcomes can also help to calibrate enforcement efforts, favoring those that are more promising for given driving behaviors and violations. The objective of the research is to identify how enforcement activity has changed in recent years, and associate those changes with corresponding changes in crashes, injuries, and/or fatalities. Statistical comparisons can describe those factors that may be significant and guide future investments in enforcement and prioritization among policing agencies.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project BTS-31

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Governors Highway Safety Association

    444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite 722
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Retting, Richard

  • Start Date: 20230704
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01886949
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project BTS-31
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 4 2023 12:52PM