A survey of state highway and city police agencies was conducted to determine whether the relationship between police staffing and measures of need for police traffic services has changed over time. Data on staffing levels, the number of vehicle miles traveled, and number of licensed drivers were obtained for the years 1978, 1981, and 1984 through 1989 for 33 of the 49 surveyed states. Staffing level for five cities, and daily vehicle miles of travel for the associated urbanized areas, were obtained for 1981 and 1984-89. For the state highway police agencies, the number of vehicle miles traveled and number of licensed drivers rose faster than the availability of officers whose routine duties included traffic law enforcement; in a few states the number of state traffic officers has actually declined. Three of the cities have shown substantial declines in the ratio of traffic officers to area travel. In most states and cities, the data indicate that the ability of police agencies to respond to the rising need for traffic enforcement has diminished over time. This suggests that more efficient allocation of police resources, such as the use of automated enforcement techniques for speed and signal light violations, is needed in many places.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 14 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00620630
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1992 12:00AM