ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The Future of Traffic Law Enforcement Through the Enhanced Promotion of Road Safety Principles

Cunningham, Anthony

Enforcement & Penalties


For decades police have practiced techniques of traffic law enforcement ?bequeathed? to them by generations of traffic law enforcement officers. Criticism of these enforcement techniques, an unacceptable, ever-present toll relating to motor vehicle trauma and public opinion have given rise to the mistaken impression that traffic law enforcement police appear to be concentrating perhaps a little too much on the revenue raising aspect. There are even suggestions that highly motivated traffic law enforcement police only aim to promote road safety only as a secondary concern. Recidivist traffic law violators often state that traffic law enforcement officers are only persecuting them and ought to be employed in other areas of law enforcement catching drug offenders and thieves.

Although some of the activities of traffic law enforcement may appear to be somewhat remotely geared to revenue generation the main concern of traffic law enforcement is to address and lower the ever-present level of road related trauma and death as well as the promotion of road safety. The audience that is targeted by traffic law enforcement police are those who have a basic contempt for the road laws and legislatures of the various States. It is unfortunate that some innocent law abiding motorists are caught infringing the law, especially during claimed infrequent, momentary lapses of concentration.

The enforcement techniques in use today appear to be falling short of the expectations of those people who, whilst constantly criticising the unacceptably high road toll and the occurrence of bad driving habits, appear to be somewhat complacent in their attitudes toward offenders and the punitive measures exacted by traffic law enforcement police. Given the fact that the majority of the recidivist traffic offenders are from the 17 to 25 age group and the majority of critics are supporters of those groups, is it any wonder that public opinion and that of certain media personalities is one of basic animosity toward traffic law enforcement officers who are charged with the responsibility of working toward reducing the level of road trauma?

For many years police have had to rely on enforcement techniques that were developed by generations of traffic law enforcement officers. With the advent of modern electronic radar and laser speed detection technology, there appears to have been an upsurge in the number of motorists detected speeding and reduction in the number of speed related motor vehicle crashes and associated road trauma.