August 26, 2014

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Importance of Education & Enforcement in Traffic Stops

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with something that I know a little bit about, traffic safety. 

The reason for stopping anybody should be for the right reasons, the two E’s, enforcement or education.

After all my years on the Patrol, this is one topic that I actually know a lot about. Traffic safety involves three E’s.

First, Engineering. This takes the form of road design, signage and street light locations. Second, Education.  This takes place not only in Traffic School following a cite, but also after a driver receives a warning. Lastly, Enforcement is intended to modify dangerous driving through citations.

Enforcement is the E that I have the most experience with, and that’s I want to talk about today.

Let’s go through some of the letters other than E. What about R for revenue. Revenue is a nice byproduct of our enforcement efforts, but it is not the reason we write tickets. What about P for punishment. It is the job of the courts to punish. They determine the bail or fine amount.  

 What about A for attitude. Just because a driver pushes your buttons does not automatically mean you should cite him or her. What about S for socializing.  Pulling cars over for the purpose of asking someone out on a date is unethical and dangerous.

Look, the only professional contact many people have with law enforcement is the traffic stop. It is almost always a negative experience for that person. The reason for stopping anybody should be for the right reasons, the two E’s, enforcement or education.

Many times a warning achieves our goal of changing driving behavior. Go ahead and cite ‘em when its earned but remember the two E’s when you’re working traffic.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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