Traffic-related incidents have been the leading cause of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) for many years. Though many measures have been put in place to mitigate this dramatic threat to officers’ life and safety, could more be done to promote scene safety while performing traffic stops?
According to 2011 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Division of State and Provincial Police (S&P) research entitled, “Preventing Traffic-Related Line-of-Duty Deaths,” law enforcement officers are four times more likely to be involved in a traffic collision than the average civilian motorist. Traffic-related fatalities were the leading cause of officer deaths in the first half of 2015, and traffic-related fatalities have increased 20% from the same time period in 2014.)
16% OF THESE DEATHS WERE DUE TO AN OFFICER BEING STRUCK OUTSIDE THEIR VEHICLE. (also during the first half of 2015)
With officer safety perpetually on the minds of department leadership, what else can be done to promote officer safety?
Of the strides made within the past few years, road-side safety programs have driven improvements to increase the visibility of curbside vehicles and officers. These programs encourage passing motorists to move over and/or slow down, and train law enforcement personnel safer methods for approaching traffic stops and assessing scene safety.
While these measures are important, they do not solve the larger issue; traffic stops are inherently one of the most dangerous tasks any law enforcement officer performs on a day-to-day basis. Though we cannot effectively eliminate the danger, one additional approach an agency can take to promote officer safety while performing traffic stops is to use automated technology solutions (like the 4910LR Driver’s License Reader) that shorten the amount of time necessary to perform a traffic stop.
The idea is simple: if you reduce the amount of time necessary to complete a traffic stop, you reduce the level of vulnerability officers are subjected to on the side of the road.
eCitation, for example, can save officers a significant amount of time when issuing citations (it takes approximately ¼ of the time to complete an eCitation when compared to manual processing); this advancement can also improve records management accuracy and promote increased situational awareness. By letting automated technology solutions do the work, the officer can focus on critical elements of scene safety and maintain a heightened level of awareness.
Automating citation data input, with the help of the 4910LR Driver’s License Reader and other advanced eCitation technology, means less time on the side of the road – directly impacting the number of LODDs experienced in law enforcement.
For more information on eCitation and its benefits, check out our Buffalo Valley Regional PD Case Study.
What potential impact could eCitation have on your operations?