The National Academies

BTSCRP BTS-41 [Anticipated]

The Future Use of Law Enforcement Personnel and Traffic Safety Enforcement

  Project Data
Funds: $460,000
Staff Responsibility: Richard A. Retting
Comments: In development
Fiscal Year: 2025

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.


In recent years the role of traffic law enforcement, and its function, have changed. And the numbers of sworn law enforcement officers in many jurisdictions have declined due to increased vacancy rates. Many states have placed limitations on law enforcement personnel efforts to engage in traffic safety law enforcement in various ways.

Going forward, two relevant questions for state highway safety offices (SHSOs) and law enforcement leadership are 1) does the public accept and want police to enforce traffic safety laws? and 2) what should be the future role of law enforcement officers in traffic safety enforcement?


The objective of this is research is to provide public policy guidance for decisionmakers on the role of law enforcement in traffic safety enforcement. This study should also involve a reliable measure of public sentiment on the role of traditional law enforcement engagement on traffic safety enforcement. Deliverables produced through this research should be designed to support the work of SHSOs, and law enforcement leaders at the state and local levels. Findings (when available) from BTSCRP Project BTS-31, Quantifying Impacts of Traffic Enforcement Activity Levels on Safety, should be incorporated into the research effort.

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