Americans Support Law Enforcement Traffic Stops After Learning Stops Save Lives


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Americans Support Law Enforcement Traffic Stops After Learning Stops Save Lives


Posted on: September 3rd, 2021   Topic: OSA News OSA News & Announcements

Buckle Up, Slow Down, Drive Sober, and Stay Focused on the Road This Labor Day Weekend

As motorists travel this Labor Day holiday, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) released a national survey on traffic safety today, finding that drivers are most concerned about distracted, impaired, and aggressive driving.

America’s sheriffs remind drivers, especially during this long holiday weekend, that law enforcement is working to save lives through educating the public about impaired, distracted, and aggressive drivers.

The NSA recently released a traffic public service announcement with multi-platinum and award-winning country music performer Toby Keith. The PSA was created with support and funding through a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The NSA distributed the PSA to 1900 TV outlets and radio stations across the country.

The PSA’s message is: You can do your part by driving smart to save lives. Always buckle up, slow down, drive sober, and stay focused on driving.

In the latest NSA/TIPP Poll completed in late July 2021, we asked 1,300 Americans, “Generally speaking, do you believe that there are too many, too few, or the right number of traffic stops made by law enforcement officers?” The results read:

  • 32% said too many
  • 21% said too few
  • 27% mentioned the right number of stops
  • 20% were not sure

We followed up the above question by asking, “Every year, about 40,000 people die in car crashes in America, including about 11,000 caused by impaired drivers. Given this information, do you believe that the number of traffic stops made by law enforcement officers is too many, too few, or the right number of stops?” The results read

  • 25% said too many
  • 34% said too few
  • 24% mentioned the right number of stops
  • 18% were not sure

Those saying too few or the right number increased from 48% to 58%, showing perceptions changed when respondents were educated about the real dangers of unsafe driving practices, showing that knowledge of crash information improves perceptions.

Impaired Driving, Distracted Driving, And Aggressive Driving Are Americans’ Top-Three Traffic Safety Priorities

In the latest NSA/TIPP Poll, we asked Americans, “What are your top-three traffic safety priorities or concerns to save lives as Americans get back out on the road in the COVID-19 era?” The results read

  • 57% impaired driving (e.g., alcohol, drugs)
  • 54% distracted driving (e.g., texting)
  • 45% aggressive driving – speeding
  • 29% failure to obey traffic signals/signs (e.g., running red lights/stop signs)
  • 16% fatigued driving
  • 15% unsafe driving in inclement weather
  • 12% improper use – non-use of a seat belt
  • 11% unsafe lane changing
  • 10% improper use – non-use of turn signal
  • 10% increased exposure to COVID-19 during traffic enforcement stops
  • 5% none

About The Survey

TechnoMetrica conducted the TIPP Poll, an online survey for the National Sheriffs’ Association, from July 28 to July 30, 2021.  The nationwide study had a sample of 1,322 Americans, 18 or older, and TechnoMetrica’s network of panel partners provided the study sample. Upon study completion, TechnoMetrica weighted the study dataset by gender, age, race, education, and geographical region to mirror known benchmarks such as the U.S. Census. The credibility interval (CI) for the survey is +/- 2.8 percentage points, meaning the study is accurate to within ± 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been surveyed. Due to smaller sample sizes, subgroups based on gender, age, ethnicity, and region have higher credibility intervals.

Sheriff (ret.) John Whetsel, Oklahoma Co., OK is the chair of the National Sheriffs’ Association Traffic Safety Committee.


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