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Publication Characteristics of Drivers Stopped by Police, 1999

Matthew R. Durose, Patrick A. Langan, Ph.D., Erica Leah Schmitt

March 1, 2002    NCJ 191548

Provides data on the nature and characteristics of traffic stops, as collected in the 1999 Police-Public Contact Survey. Tables present detailed demographic characteristics of the 19.3 million drivers stopped by police in 1999. Drivers stopped one time over a 12-month period and drivers stopped two or more times are compared across categories of gender, age, and race/ethnicity. The report also examines driver responses regarding the traffic stop, speeding, searches conducted by police, arrest, and use of force.


  • Males (70.3%) stopped for speeding were more likely to be ticketed than females (66.5%).
  • Approximately 422,000 persons age 16 or older said the police used or threatened to use force against them at least once during 1999.
  • In 1999, 6.6% of traffic stops involved a search of the driver, the vehicle, or both.

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