BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Data Collection Detail

Data Collection: State Police Traffic Stop Data Collection Procedures
Status: Inactive
Frequency: 1999, 2001, 2004
Latest data available: 2004

Collected data from state law enforcement agencies with traffic patrol responsibility about their policies for recording race and ethnicity data for persons in traffic stops. Basic information was obtained on the circumstances under which demographic data were collected for traffic-related stops and whether this information was stored in an electronically accessible format. The data collection was not designed to obtain available agency databases containing traffic-stop records.

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Data Experts

  • Joel Garner, Chief of Law Enforcement Unit, BJS
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    Collection Period

    1999, 2001, 2004

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    Questionnaires

    State Police Traffic Stop Data Collection Procedures (SSP-1)
    2001 PDF (52K)
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    Methodology

    Most agencies (27) relied on their officers' observation of the driver's race or ethnicity as the method of determining the race or ethnicity of the motorist. Officer observation was the exclusive method in 15 State agencies.  Twelve agencies also used information on motorist race
    or ethnicity from the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles or equivalent agency. This method was used exclusively by two agencies.

    Eleven agencies also used information provided orally by the motorist. None of the State agencies used this method alone.

    Nine of the State agencies used all three sources (officer observation, motorist self identification, and Bureau of Motor Vehicle data) to determine the driver's race or ethnicity.

    Among the 29 State police agencies that collected race or ethnicity information on at least some kinds of traffic-related stops, almost all (26) stored these data electronically. Ten stored the data using only electronic means, and 16 used both electronic and paper-based
    storage. Three agencies used paper storage only.

    Seventeen agencies that collected race or ethnicity data linked their traffic stop data to other law enforcement information systems such as dispatch information, citations, officer logs, or bureau of motor vehicle records.

    Twenty-two of the 29 State police agencies that collected race or ethnicity data under at least some traffic stop circumstances, made their data available to the public. Nine agencies published reports based on the data.

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    Publications & Products

    The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

    Traffic Stop Data Collection Policies for State Police, 2004 Presents findings from the 2004 Survey of State Police Agencies on policies and procedures for collecting race and ethnicity data regarding motorists involved in traffic stops.
      PDF (544K) | ASCII file (9K) | ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 3K) | Codebooks and Datasets | To order paper version
    Part of the Traffic Stop Data Collection Policies for State Police Series

    Traffic Stop Data Collection Policies for State Police, 2001 This report presents findings from the 2001 State Police Traffic Stop Data Collection Procedures. State police agencies were asked to report on their policies and procedures for collecting race and ethnicity data regarding motorists involved in traffic stops.
      PDF (194K) | ASCII file (9K) | ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 5K) | Codebooks and Datasets | To order paper version
    Part of the Traffic Stop Data Collection Policies for State Police Series

    Traffic Stop Data Collection Policies for State Police, 1999 Provides findings from the 1999 Survey of State Police Agencies Information Inventory. Discussed are the circumstances under which demographic data are collected for traffic-related contacts and violations.
      PDF (53K) | ASCII file (8K) | Spreadsheet (13K) | Survey Questionnaire (PDF 52K)
    Part of the Traffic Stop Data Collection Policies for State Police Series

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    Related Topics

  • Law Enforcement
  • Law Enforcement | Police-Public Contacts | Traffic Stops
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