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Aggressive Driving Enforcement: Strategies for Implementing Best Practices

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Aggressive Driving Enforcement: Strategies for Implementing Best Practices

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Table of Contents


Planning an Aggressive Driver Enforcement Program

Define Aggressive Driving
Review Existing Legislation
Involve Prosecutors and Judges
Involve Other Enforcement Agencies
Collect Data
Form Community-Wide Partnerships
Conduct Media and Outreach Activities
Introduce the Aggressive Driving Program to the Public
Evaluate the Program
Suggested Aggressive Driving Performance Measures
Write for Grants

Examples of Aggressive Driving Enforcement Programs

St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida
Massachusetts State Police
Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico
Pennsylvania State Police
Richardson Police Department, Texas
Colorado State Patrol
Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
Maryland State Police
Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

Partnership Organizations
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Regional Offices


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expresses its appreciation to the following law enforcement and highway safety agencies whose contributions made the development of this guide possible:

Arizona Department of Public Safety
Albuquerque Police Department
California Highway Patrol
Colorado State Patrol
Connecticut State Police
Delaware State Police
Fairfax County Police Department, Virginia
Florida Highway Patrol
Howard County Police Department, Maryland
Illinois State Police
Iowa Highway Safety Office
Los Angeles Police Department, California
Maryland State Police
Massachusetts State Police
Michigan State Police
Minnesota State Patrol
New York State Police
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma
Ontario Provincial Police, Ontario, Canada
Orange County Sheriff’s Department, California
Peel Regional Police Department, Ontario, Canada
Pennsylvania State Police
Richardson Police Department, Texas
St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida
Utah Highway Patrol
Virginia State Police
Washington Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia
Washington State Patrol


Law enforcement agencies throughout the country are improving traffic safety in their jurisdictions by reducing the incidences of aggressive driving, speeding and red light running.

The purpose of this guide is to provide step-by-step assistance to law enforcement personnel to develop an aggressive driving enforcement program. A number of suggestions are provided that will help law enforcement agencies design and implement an effective aggressive driving program.

In addition, the guide will look at a number of agencies that are conducting successful aggressive driving enforcement programs. These programs have changed behaviors and attitudes and have achieved results. We will describe what these agencies have learned, their different approaches and what technology they used. In the end, it is hoped that law enforcement agencies will benefit from reading about these programs when they design a program for their area.


A traffic safety phenomenon known as aggressive driving, which emerged as an "issue of the 90's," threatens to be a major public safety concern for the motoring public and law enforcement into the 21st Century. There were 6,335,000 police-reported crashes in the United States in 1998 according to NHTSA’s General Estimates System. Law enforcement officers report that many aggressive driving behaviors are the same as those that are contributing factors in crashes.

To understand the gravity of this issue, one need only do a search on the words "aggressive driving" on the Internet. More than three million hits appear, ranging from congressional testimony to articles in newspapers and magazines.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a telephone survey of 6,000 drivers, sixteen years and older, who discussed their experiences, beliefs and behaviors regarding speeding and unsafe driving, including aggressive driving. More than 60 percent of the drivers interviewed believe that unsafe driving by others is a major personal threat to them and their families. Three out of four drivers feel that doing something about unsafe driving is very important. 1

The motoring public also believes aggressive driving is a huge problem and they fear for their own safety, maybe more than they fear impaired drivers. Law enforcement officers continue to see lives ruined because of motor vehicle crashes caused by drivers venting frustration and aggression. In turn, insurance companies observe the increase in numbers of crashes and the need to pass on these increased costs to the consumer. Civic organizations and private groups see the need to offer advice to their members and form alliances to educate them about the risks of driving aggressively.

So, what is causing the increase in aggressive driving? We know that congestion is a contributing cause.2 Studies have shown that the number of motor vehicles registered rose 19 percent over the past ten years, reflecting an increase in population. The number of licensed drivers rose 12 percent during the same period. At the same time, the number of law enforcement officers available to enforce laws has decreased. For example, state police and highway patrol agencies have seen a 3 percent decrease in the number of officers working traffic enforcement.3

Highway Use Trends Vs. Traffic Enforcement
(From NHTSA Fact Sheets and IACP’s State and Provincial Division reports)
This means that as highway use increases, congestion is likely to continue to get worse. During the past ten years, the surface road miles increased only 1.1 percent while total miles traveled has increased 40 percent. Highway construction is not keeping up with the growth in the general population, or the increase in the number of licensed drivers, vehicles registered, and highway miles driven.

Frustration over congestion, especially in larger cities, is likely to continue to get worse. People feel the pressure of time and seem to live in the acceleration lane in all aspects of their lives–making every minute count. We believe these feelings on the roadways lead to high risk and aggressive driving, and that, in turn, leads to an increase in crashes.

Law enforcement agencies around the country must look for ways to address this issue. Many similarities exist between the aggressive driving issue today and the impaired driving issue of twenty-five years ago. It was socially acceptable to drink and sometimes comical to share stories of driving drunk and getting arrested. It was the practice in some communities for law enforcement officers to take impaired drivers home and make no arrests. However, because of the high numbers of motor vehicle deaths caused by impaired driving and the public outrage, public attitudes changed. Getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol is no longer acceptable. We need to get to that point in society, where aggressive driving simply is not acceptable.

Planning an Aggressive Driver Enforcement Program

Law enforcement agencies have been developing new, ambitious enforcement methods to address the problem of aggressive driving.

The programs discussed in this publication were created, designed and developed by line officers. These officers are familiar with their "beats." They know the problem areas, they know the time of day to expect problems and they are familiar with what it takes to resolve a problem. In each case, law enforcement administrators were willing to listen to the line officer and work together to develop a program that would work. By allowing patrol officers to become involved in the solution, there was greater participation and commitment to the program.

In developing an aggressive driving program, law enforcement administrators need to be creative and look for innovative ideas. The following areas should be considered when developing a program.

Define Aggressive Driving
Review Existing Legislation
Involve Prosecutors and Judges
Involve Other Enforcement Agencies
Collect Data
Form Community-Wide Partnerships
Conduct Media and Outreach Activities
Introduce the Aggressive Driving Program to the Public
Evaluate the Program
Suggested Aggressive Driving Performance Measures
Write for Grants

Define Aggressive Driving

As law enforcement agencies develop their programs, they should define aggressive driving based on their state laws, customs and practices by the agency, and by the public’s understanding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as, "when individuals commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Some other communities define aggressive driving as "the operation of a motor vehicle involving three or more moving violations as part of a single continuous sequence of driving acts, which is likely to endanger any person or property."

To avoid conflict with the term road rage, departments should clearly identify that issue and train their officers to use the correct terminology during the program as well as during traffic stops and public information opportunities. Road rage differs from aggressive driving. It is a criminal offense and is "an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger(s) of one motor vehicle on the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or is caused by an incident that occurred on a roadway."

Some behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving include: exceeding the posted speed limit, following too closely, erratic or unsafe lane changes, improperly signaling lane changes, failure to obey traffic control devices (stop signs, yield signs, traffic signals, railroad grade cross signals, etc.). Law enforcement agencies should include red light running as part of their definition of aggressive driving. NHTSA calls the act of red light running as one of the most dangerous forms of aggressive driving.

Review Existing Legislation

Each state needs to determine whether it is necessary to pass an "aggressive driving" statute. States need to look at their existing laws to determine whether its laws can appropriately deter and punish serious violators of traffic laws. Multiple traffic law violations increase crash risk. Law enforcement should reflect the seriousness of that increased risk by convicting the aggressive driver of every violation committed.

While states may need additional aggressive driving laws, an option may be to review the current statutory framework such as the reckless driving statute to see if an amendment may adequately address the problem of careless or negligent driving.

In many states, changes in the point system can be accomplished administratively; in others technical statutory changes may be needed. But in all states the need is for rigorous enforcement of every law violated by aggressive drivers, not major new laws on aggressive driving.

This process should be addressed by each state on an individualized basis. States might consider the following points when reviewing related statutes and practices:

* Conviction for an aggressive driving violation should involve a significant number of points and/or a minimum license suspension.
* Enhanced penalties should accompany repeat violations or those involving serious injury or death.
* Use of advanced technology for enforcement.
* Conduct public information and driver’s education programs on aggressive driving, to be taken during pre-license driver education classes and again prior to license reinstatement. Initial driver training programs should include aggressive driving and anger management training.

Several other legislative issues may need to be addressed. For example:

* If a state chooses to use unmarked vehicles, legislation may be required to permit the use of these vehicles.
* States may have to look at their "team policing laws" that permit air to ground traffic enforcement. Determine if it is allowable for one law enforcement officer to witness the driving violation and call to another law enforcement officer to stop and cite the violator.
* A law may be required for the installation of red light running equipment and to permit the officer to write citations based on a photograph. As of September 1999, thirteen states had laws in place authorizing the use of cameras to ticket red light running, speeding or illegal railroad crossing. Twenty state legislatures are considering this new technology. In the NHTSA survey of 6,000 drivers over the age of sixteen, more than 70 percent of the respondents supported the use of photo enforcement devices to reduce speeding, running red lights and stop signs.

Law enforcement agencies need to review what other states have done. The National Conference for State Legislatures has a database that follows traffic safety bills, including aggressive driving, through state legislatures. The bills are listed by state, identifying number, sponsor, and a brief description of the content. The database is also available on the web at: www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncsl/guestissue.cfm.

In addition, the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO) is investigating the need for model legislation on aggressive driving. NCUTLO can be contacted at: National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances, 107 S. West Street, #110, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314 or by E-mail at: ncutloceo@rica.net

Involve Prosecutors and Judges

Heightened awareness of the aggressive driving issue will be aided by the education of prosecutors and judges. For example, if law enforcement agencies are considering non-traditional enforcement strategies, new technology or something unique, prosecutors and judges need to be involved early in the planning process so they will become familiar with the new techniques and new technology.

The successful programs described later in this document, involve judges and prosecutors in demonstrations, ride-alongs and other training opportunities to make them knowledgeable of the aggressive driving issues and aware of what the law enforcement agency is trying to accomplish. They should also be educated on traffic enforcement and, specifically, on how aggressive driving impacts the quality of life in their community.

Prosecutors should develop written guidelines that provide uniformity and consistency in charging and disposing of cases. In turn, law enforcement should provide detailed information to prosecutors, and prosecutors should provide information to judges, along with the citation and charging documents. This approach will help prosecutors in exercising discretion in the charging and disposition decision.

Briefing the prosecutor’s office and the courts will allow them to prepare for the additional caseload. It also allows prosecutors to provide suggestions or information about specific laws that may strengthen the aggressive driving program. This is an important step because prosecutors and judges who are left out of the information loop may not fully support the aggressive driving program. This could be detrimental to the overall impact of the program. A briefing during the developmental stage of the enforcement program will avoid this problem.

Involve Other Law Enforcement Agencies

There are several examples of state, county and city law enforcement agencies joining to do a cooperative, coordinated aggressive driving multi-jurisdictional enforcement program. The benefits are numerous--a single message; shared media coverage and exposure; and, cooperation among agencies. This can be a practical approach with cities and counties in the same judicial circuits.

Collect Data

Data collection is an important component of aggressive driving programs. Agencies need to establish a method for gathering statistics on aggressive driving violations, but distinguish between aggressive driving infractions and non-aggressive violations (for example, just because drivers are stopped for speeding does not mean they were driving aggressively). Citations should be marked in some manner to identify the true aggressive driving violations. If possible, conduct a traffic study before implementing an aggressive driving program to find out how severe the problem is in a specific area. Data collection early on establishes a baseline for further studies about the effectiveness of the program.

One idea is to obtain crash statistics for a special enforcement area and compare the incidence of aggressive driving related crashes during the program to the incidence of crashes during the same months in previous years. Exact numbers of acts of aggressive driving for previous years may be difficult to obtain. By looking at the number and types of violations contributing to the crash, and separating out those considered consistent with aggressive driving, approximate numbers can be obtained.

Form Community-Wide Partnerships

Private and civic organizations want to help get the word out about aggressive driving and the department’s enforcement efforts. These organizations have formed many successful alliances around the country to use their skill, knowledge, constituents and funding to educate the public with highway safety messages. They all need to work together to influence executive decisions about making enforcement a higher priority. A list of partnership organizations is included in the back of this publication.

* Educators
* Highway safety affiliates
* Citizen activists
* Government leaders
* Media community
* Entertainment industry
* Law enforcement administrators
* Law enforcement officers
* Community-oriented policing administrators
* Prosecutors and judges
* Medical community
* Business leaders and citizen groups
* Insurers and insurance consortiums
* Churches and civic groups
* Victims of aggressive driving incidents
* City, county, state health departments and other public health agencies
* Local coalitions such as the Safe Communities Program (See http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/safecommunities or call (817) 978-3653 for more information)

Care should be given to encourage buy-in and support from private or civic organizations as the plan is developed. Civic groups such as Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Citizens Against Drug Impaired Driving (CANDID) and Citizens Against Speeding and Aggressive Driving (CASAD), have a special interest in taking the message out to the public. Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs and other similar service organizations have aligned with law enforcement agencies to deliver highway safety messages to their constituents.

Not-for-profit organizations such as the American Institute for Public Safety and the National Road Safety Foundation have funds to produce mass media material. Documentaries, educational videos and public service announcements are available for television broadcast and for use in safety and enforcement programs.

Conduct Media and Outreach Activities

To achieve the ultimate goal of reducing injuries and deaths resulting from aggressive driving, public awareness must be raised concerning enforcement efforts. Despite the number of drivers issued citations or arrested, the only people aware of this activity are usually the ones being arrested or receiving the citations. Most of the motoring public, some of whom are violating the law, are usually not aware that enforcement activities are taking place. This is why it is a good idea to publicize the enforcement effort to the maximum extent possible. When quality public information and education are conducted in concert with enforcement, awareness is heightened, voluntary compliance increases, and the deterrent effects are stronger. Recognition leads to solutions.

Increase perception of risk - By introducing timely public information through the media which support enforcement activities, drivers will have a greater "perception of risk." This perception sends the message that a substantial risk exists of being cited, of being arrested, of paying a fine, of being injured while driving aggressively. As a result, more drivers are encouraged to comply with traffic laws. Voluntary compliance with traffic laws reduces motor vehicle crashes. In addition, the public awareness effort itself may also change attitudes and, in turn, lead to improved driving behaviors.

To maximize the "perception of risk," it is important to establish a unique program identity. The program should be outlined to the media, with an explanation of why the program is necessary, what the desired outcome is, and what method is being used to attain the program’s goals. To be most effective, publicity about aggressive driver program activities should be provided to all forms of the media including print, radio, and television.

Tip line - Consider the use of a "tip line" to get the public to report aggressive drivers. That, in turn, helps law enforcement officers. In addition, when people in the community call in, they feel they are contributing to the solution of a problem.

News releases - Media should be supplied with news releases that contain accurate information describing aggressive driving enforcement activities. Written news releases provide a permanent record of enforcement activities, highlight upcoming events, and eliminate communication errors between media and program participants. News releases should be given to the media three or four working days before aggressive driver activities are to take place. This should be used to announce upcoming events, provide basic background information, deliver official statements on the involvement of enforcement agencies, and announce news conferences. The news releases should include the names of appropriate departmental personnel who will be available to provide further information.

Post-activity news releases should always be used. At the conclusion of an aggressive driving patrol, the coordinator should tabulate program activities, and deliver the complete results to the various news sources. They should contain:

* Total number of traffic stops
* Number of citations issued by violation
* Number of arrests for other violations/crimes
* List of participating agencies
* Number of officers involved
* Names of persons to contact for further information

Speakers bureau - Start a speakers bureau. Provide community partners with a stock speech and materials to adapt to specific audiences. Law enforcement agencies need to be prepared with videotapes, print materials, a speaker’s kit and other readily available resources to help judges and others speak in the community.

News conferences - News conferences can be used to kick-off the enforcement program and to announce results periodically during the campaign. Agency personnel should be present to deliver the message and answer follow-up questions. Organized and well-managed news conferences project a positive image of the program. Invite all of the community partners, such as participating law enforcement agencies, a wide range of local government and community leaders, victims, and members of the health care community to attend the news conference.

The community partners should be briefed on the status of the program and be prepared to answer questions concerning their involvement. In addition to discussing the data and other successes, tell the public that they need to do their part in resolving this problem by not driving aggressively.

Ride-alongs - During aggressive driving patrols, ride-alongs for media representatives may encourage additional news coverage. The "on-the-scene story" can add a new dimension to the program with reporters providing first-hand information. Reporters participating in "ride-alongs" must have permission from both their news agencies and the law enforcement agency involved, and must clearly understand law enforcement guidelines. Law enforcement officers selected as ride-along representatives for the aggressive driving patrol should be briefed in advance and feel comfortable with being observed by the media and responding to their inquires. The agency representative should serve as a good role model, e.g., wear a seat belt and insist the reporter do so as well. Select an articulate officer who is a positive representative of the enforcement agency.

Live coverage - Managing and coordinating media in live situations is extremely critical. Done properly, this type of coverage may provide several benefits, including:

* Immediate release of relevant information
* Increase perception of risk and deterrence effects
* Strengthen positive relationships with the media

By coordinating these various media activities, law enforcement participants generate additional news coverage surrounding their aggressive driving patrols including: pre-activity news releases and news conferences, live and remote coverage at the time of the activities, and post-news releases following the activities. In addition, law enforcement agencies can do their part to increase the visibility of the program by conducting enforcement operations in high-visibility areas, during rush hours, on weekends when news coverage is more likely, using unique equipment to catch the interest of the public, and using officers in a team approach enforcement effort.

Introduce the Aggressive Driving Program to the Public

The ways in which a new enforcement program is introduced to the public can have a major impact on public acceptance. Consider some of the following guidelines to educate the public and help gain their support for the enforcement effort.

* Illustrate the aggressive driving problem. Use some statistics and recent crash information to demonstrate that your community has this problem.
* Draw on past experience. Meet with representatives from jurisdictions or localities that already conduct an aggressive driving program. Get feedback on what has worked for them and what hasn’t.
* Identify issues in advance. Make a list of all the possible public concerns that may arise about the aggressive driving crackdown. Develop methods and responses to alleviate these concerns. Make these points available in "talking points" for all officers and administrators who will be confronted with these questions.
* Reach out to community organizations. Meet with neighborhood associations, civic groups and other interested organizations to describe the aggressive driving enforcement program and ask for their support. Make certain administrators, city officials, etc., mention aggressive driving at all of their speaking engagement.
* Involve the media. Set up meetings with local reporters and conduct a "backgrounder" meeting to describe the program before it starts. Provide statistics and crash survivors to support the program. Offer to let the media see how the equipment works, suggest ride-alongs, etc. Ask for the media’s support in educating the public.

Media as full fledged partners - While the media can provide news coverage of events, they can also be full-fledged partners in helping to solve this critical problem in the community. Encourage stations to adopt a traffic safety issue for a specific period of time, to become, in effect, a member of the community-wide team, rather than simply a media outlet to air public service announcements (PSAs). A station that considers an issue to be a problem in the community may agree to cover a program in news stories, editorials, or station break announcements; involve on-air personalities; expand coverage of community events; as well as upgrade the placement of PSAs into prime-time slots.

Evaluate the Program

As aggressive driving continues to gain recognition as a traffic safety issue, law enforcement agencies need to track data. These data will measure the effectiveness of the enforcement strategies in changing behavior and reducing crash rates. Included here are some suggested aggressive driving performance measures that can be employed by the program.

Suggested Aggressive Driving Performance Measures


* Proportion of fatal crashes where speed was cited
* Proportion of fatal crashes where contributing factors typically associated with aggressive driving were cited
* Proportion of fatal crashes where a moving hazardous violation was cited
* Proportion of fatal crashes where a combination of moving traffic offenses likely to endanger other persons or property were cited
* Proportion of fatal crashes where reckless driving was cited
* Proportion of all reported crashes where speeding and/or aggressive driving was cited

Observational Surveys

* Proportion of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 20+ mph on interstates, arterial and local roads
* Proportion of vehicles in which drivers commit a moving hazardous violation
* Proportion of vehicles in which drivers commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property

Other Measures

* Annual number of speeding citations per 100,000 licensed drivers
* Annual number of other moving violations typically associated with aggressive driving per 100,000 licensed drivers
* Annual number of reckless driving citations per 100,000 licensed drivers
* Proportion of drivers (from surveys) who say they exceeded the speed limit by 20+ mph in the last month
* Proportion of drivers (from surveys) who say they at least occasionally exceed what they consider to be the maximum safe speed on roads they regularly travel
* Proportion of drivers (from surveys) who say they drove in a manner that would be considered unsafe in the last year, month, week
* Proportion of drivers by gender (from surveys) who report other (than speeding) unsafe driving behaviors in the past year
* Proportion of drivers by age (from surveys) who report other (than speeding) unsafe driving behaviors in the past year
* Measurement of the most frequent unsafe driving behaviors (other than speed) committed in the last year, month, week

Law enforcement agencies need to establish baseline numbers for the incidence of aggressive driving before the start of the enforcement program and then after the enforcement period has been completed. It is particularly important to conduct pre and post data collections of the number of crashes caused by aggressive driving.

Law enforcement agencies may wish to consider adding a box or space on the citation to allow the officer to note aggressive driving involvement such as multiple offenses and other reckless and dangerous driving behaviors. A box or notation on the citation will allow the agency to track the number of aggressive driving occurrences and it lets the courts know that the traffic stop was because of aggressive driving.

Suggested Aggressive Driving Performance Measures

With any enforcement campaign, there is always the need to fund the purchase of special equipment, overtime shifts or special saturation patrols. Law enforcement agencies should become familiar with funding sources such as grants, demonstration projects and the funding of neighborhood safety programs.

Each state has a Governor’s Highway Safety Office that oversees safety programs and distributes federal grant money, under the NHTSA Section 402 program. Private companies such as insurance companies, safety-based industries, employee organizations, and others, sometimes give funding to support special programs and projects of this kind.

There are other sources of funding. Consider approaching the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grantees. Aggressive driving and other traffic issues are considered a community problem in many communities.

Examples of Aggressive Driving Enforcement Programs

Strategies presented in this manual are provided to assist law enforcement agencies in coordinating aggressive driving activities. Any strategy may be adopted or modified to meet the needs of individual agencies. Ultimately, it is through initiatives such as aggressive driving programs that result in reduced traffic-related injuries and deaths.

The following aggressive driving enforcement programs are sited here:

St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida
Massachusetts State Police
Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico
Pennsylvania State Police
Richardson Police Department, Texas
Colorado State Patrol
Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
Maryland State Police
Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) developed a program, Where’s Jockers? It is based on the children’s book, Where’s Waldo? The children’s book has several pages with thousands of faces and the children are supposed to find Waldo. Patrol Officer Mike Jockers developed and initiated the program, so they called the program, Where’s Jockers? St. Petersburg was having high incidences of drivers running red lights, crashes with fatalities, and many incidences of aggressive driving. Marked patrol vehicles were not effective in stopping the aggressive driving behavior. He developed an innovative approach to address these issues. Officer Jockers, equipped with a radar gun and hand-held radio, would sit in all types of non-traditional city vehicles to observe traffic and call ahead to marked patrol vehicles to take enforcement action. Officer Jockers has: 1) used lawn mowers; 2) sat on a bus bench; and, 3) sat in road construction vehicles.

Initially, the SPPD did not advise the media of the special enforcement efforts. Soon the media heard of the special enforcement details and requested information. The media was then contacted before events to advise and educate the public of the hazards of aggressive driving. Several news channels would go on location and do live broadcasts during the morning news casts.

The SPPD is expanding its aggressive driving enforcement effort into a program called 3-E’s, Enforcement, Education and Engineering. They want to use a broad-based effort to educate the public, to look at roadway design and signage as possible problems, and couple this with their enforcement efforts.

Special Features

The SPPD uses non-traditional vehicles such as lawn mowers, buckets from electric trucks, construction trucks, etc. By using the non-traditional vehicles, the public can not be sure where the law enforcement officers are found. The public does not know if the police department is doing a special Where’s Jockers? enforcement effort or if the officers are doing their regular job.

The media in the St. Petersburg area has given extensive coverage to the Where’s Jockers? program. By working with the media, the SPPD has taken the aggressive driving issue to far more people than just those being stopped.

The SPPD uses hand-held radios and portable radar units that allow their officers greater mobility to observe traffic.

Project Outcome

Media coverage was extensive. Television cameras were often on location with Officer Jockers. They would do interviews of people while they were stopped, as a result of the Where’s Jockers’? strategy. Many drivers would admit hearing the story on the morning news. Over time, largely because of the media, drivers have become aware of the enforcement efforts of the SPPD.

Legal Considerations

Before the program began, the SPPD met with the city prosecutors and judges to make them aware of the enforcement strategy and the use of the non-traditional vehicles. It was helpful when the judicial system understood these issues before defendants came to court. They also became aware of how large the St. Petersburg aggressive driving problem was when a large number of cases began to come to the court.

More Information

Lieutenant Randy Bratton
St. Petersburg Police Department
1300 1st Avenue, North
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
(727) 893-7157


The Massachusetts State Police 3D Program, (Dangerous Drunk and Drugged Driving) uses an aggressive driving team of troopers who are assigned to the team for one year. The team uses marked and unmarked patrol vehicles, and also unmarked or non-traditional vehicles, typically seized from drug or criminal interdiction cases. They equip the vehicles with in-car video cameras, radar units, and emergency lights. A uniformed officer assigned to the unmarked vehicle works in conjunction with two or more marked patrol vehicles.

The unmarked or non-traditional patrol vehicles work in areas that have been identified as aggressive driving problem areas, such as areas of high incidences of crashes, congestion or fatalities. When they observe a violation, the officer in the unmarked or non-traditional vehicle positions the patrol vehicle so that the driving behavior can be video taped. The officer gives the marked patrol vehicles their location. The unmarked vehicle maintains contact with the violator until the marked unit is behind the violator and a stop is initiated. Since the officer in the unmarked vehicle is in uniform, if the driving behavior is egregious, the officer will initiate the traffic stop to eliminate the hazardous driving behavior. By maintaining this process, Massachusetts State Police has not had any pursuits.

Unmarked patrol units are equipped with rear deck lights so when following an aggressive driver and trying to initiate a traffic stop, the deck lights are activated. The motorist behind the patrol vehicle will have ample time to slow and avoid a collision.

Troopers work 4-5 hour shifts on the road. At the end of their shift, they report to the Troop Headquarters. The trooper runs a computer check on the driver history for the drivers that they cited that day. If the driver’s license history showed more than three aggressive driving behaviors, within the last three years, they refer the driver to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and file a report to "Request for Immediate Threat of Suspension or Revocation" hearing. If the Registry of Motor Vehicle suspends or revokes a drivers license, they require the driver to attend either remedial driver training or anger management. 5

Special Features

The "Request for Immediate Threat of Suspension or Revocation" hearing uses laws that are already in place to deal with the aggressive driver. In addition, the officer checks to see if there is a pattern of aggressive driving and recommends compulsory training to change the driver’s behavior.

Handouts are given to all drivers about the dangers of aggressive driving.

Massachusetts State Police’s handout that is given to drivers after a traffic stop by the aggressive driving enforcement team.
The use of in-car video cameras helps the officer establish evidence for court. The Massachusetts State Police has found that the use of the videotapes has also decreased court time for their troopers. Boxing-in the violator until a marked police vehicle can make the traffic stop has allowed the Massachusetts State Police to maintain control of the stop. The concern of the public of stopping for an unmarked police vehicle is eliminated because a marked law enforcement vehicle makes the traffic stop unless the driving behavior is especially egregious. This technique also allows for positive identification of the violator and prevents chases from occurring from the use of unmarked patrol vehicles.

Project Outcome

The Massachusetts State Police have held more than 300 "Request for Immediate Threat of Suspension or Revocation" hearings. The arresting officers have not lost one ruling. Every case referred to the Registry of Motor Vehicles has resulted in the driver’s license being suspended or revoked.

Legal Considerations

By using the "Immediate Threat Report Form," the Massachusetts State Police use a law that is already in place, but one that has been underutilized. And, since not one ruling has gone against the charging law enforcement officer, this is a good indicator that their method of addressing the repeat aggressive driver is effective.

More Information

Major Stephen Leary
Troop C Commander
Massachusetts State Police
612 Main St., Route 122A
Holden, MA 01520
(508) 829-8300

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico experienced some tragic episodes with road rage and a marked increase in felony crimes. The police chief wanted something done. Officer Jay Gilhooly was asked to find a solution. He used a pin map to locate incidences of aggressive driving and road rage. Since there was no apparent pattern of occurrences, he then teamed with a traffic analyst to research high crash intersections. He found that thirty-three of the top fifty high-crash intersections in New Mexico are in Albuquerque. After charting those intersections, he found twenty-seven of the thirty-three were concentrated in four clusters. When crime data was added to the pin map, it turned out that the high crash clusters and the high crime areas were similar.

In 1997, the Albuquerque Police Department started the Safe Streets program. The main strategy was to saturate one of the four high-crime/high-crash areas with law enforcement officers. The saturation patrols consisted of twelve motorcycle officers, a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) enforcement team and officers drawn from the local command. The primary tactic was to position officers at the gateways used by people to enter the four target areas. They stopped and cited motorists for all traffic infractions. Saturation patrols continued in the same area for one month and then moved to another area. Twice during the second month, officers returned to the first area to give the public perception that the saturation patrol was occurring in both areas. During the third month of the enforcement effort, the saturation patrol team went back to the first area once during the month and twice to the second area. That pattern continued, until all four areas received maximum patrol efforts.

During the enforcement efforts in the city, they formed freeway enforcement teams. These teams use unmarked patrol vehicles, and a "cherry picker" truck that placed an officer in the bucket with a radar gun and hand-held radio to call ahead to officers in marked patrol vehicles. The officer in the bucket was watching for speeding and aggressive drivers. During one five-day week, two hours per day period, they issued 1,400 citations, primarily for speeding.

Project Outcome

A case study of the Albuquerque Police Department’s Safe Streets program was done for NHTSA by ANACAPA Sciences, Inc. Traffic collisions increased by 46 percent in Albuquerque the five years before starting Safe Streets in 1997. An increase in aggressive driving and road rage incidents accompanied a 12 percent increase in all collisions from 1995 to 1996 that resulted in the special enforcement effort. There was a 9 percent decrease from 1996 to 1997 in property damage only crashes, an 18 percent decline in injury crashes, a 20 percent decline in DUI crashes and a 34 percent decline in fatal crashes. 6

Crashes by type in Albuquerque between 1992-1997 that shows the effects of the Safe Streets program.
All crashes in Albuquerque: 1992-1997
The program was so successful that an operator of the local ambulance service called the Albuquerque Police Department to see how much longer their Safe Streets program was going to be operating. The ambulance service was seeing a major decline in the number of crashes, thus affecting the ambulance company business.

As the Safe Streets enforcement effort continued, citizens would come out of their houses and wave at the law enforcement officers. Drivers going by a law enforcement officer on a traffic stop would honk and wave at the officers, in a show of support for the officers taking back the streets and making Albuquerque safer.

Legal Considerations

Because of the increase in the number of citations, crowding became a serious problem at the Albuquerque Municipal Court when paying traffic fines. The Fire Marshal stepped in and required the court to open up a walk-up window outside to relieve crowding in the building.

More Information

Officer Jay Gilhooly
Albuquerque Police Department
5408 2nd Street
Albuquerque, NM 87107
(505) 761-8805


Pennsylvania State Police uses two different programs to address aggressive driving enforcement, Operation Centipede and TAG-D, (Ticket the Aggressive Driver). The Operation Centipede program uses 8-10 officers, who are positioned throughout the target area, one to two miles apart. The officers are in both marked and unmarked vehicles, some with radar units and some with radar detectors.

The officers are advised to strictly enforce all posted speed limits and cite any aggressive driving behaviors. As the motoring public passes the first trooper, they may feel there will not be any other troopers for several miles. When they pass another trooper within two miles and then another trooper within another two miles, there is the perception that troopers will be found all along the route.

The TAG-D program also uses marked and unmarked law enforcement vehicles, a vehicle that appears disabled, radar, fixed wing aircraft, and pursuit vehicles. Officers are advised what driving behaviors they are targeting for enforcement on the day of the saturation patrol effort.

Project Outcome

During 1998, Pennsylvania saw a five percent decrease in crashes with fatalities or injuries in areas targeted as part of the Operation Centipede and TAG-D highway safety enforcement programs. The number of crashes with fatalities or injuries decreased from 4,045 to 3,838. The total number of crashes with or without injuries decreased from 6,076 to 5,656, a drop of six percent. 7

Since the Pennsylvania State Police started the Operation Centipede and TAG-D programs in 1997, crashes with deaths or injuries requiring transportation for treatment of injuries, dropped by nearly 24 percent in the areas targeted by the enforcement programs.

More Information

Lieutenant Jerry Roberts
Pennsylvania State Police
Bureau of Patrol
1800 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
(717) 783-5517

Richardson, Texas

Richardson, Texas, has several major intersections with an eight-lane, divided expressway intersecting with three and four-lane frontage roads. When traffic is heavy, vehicles are consistently running red lights. This makes conducting enforcement very difficult and dangerous. To apprehend violators, officers usually must go through the intersection after the light has turned red, putting law enforcement officers and citizens in a dangerous situation. Besides the width of the intersection, there are multiple lighting patterns and 2-3 second clearance times where lights in all directions are red to allow late-comers to safely clear the intersection, thus creating longer lines and more congestion.

During the city’s quarterly traffic meetings, representatives from the police department, traffic engineers, and the traffic superintendent, discussed the high number of intersection crashes and the perceived lack of enforcement at intersections. The Richardson Police Department shared their concern about the hazardous situation to the officers trying to enforce red light violators.

Collaboration between the police department, the engineering department and the traffic engineer enabled them to develop an innovative, cost-effective solution to the traffic problem. Through a coordinated effort, they developed a "downstream" light system to help the Richardson Police Department take enforcement action. The "downstream" light did not require any change of laws and it could be done at a fraction of the cost of a photo red light system.

A white light was wired on the back of the signal heads or on the cross beam of the light assembly. The white light was activated when the red light received power. Officers could sit across the intersection, or "downstream" from the traffic light, know when the light turned red and wait for the violating vehicles to approach their location. The officer could either flag the motorist over or fall behind the vehicle and safely make the traffic stop.

This light system cost the city of Richardson approximately $500 per intersection. Installation requires about six hours, using a two-person crew. The "downstream" light system requires a thirty-five watt, white light bulb, powered when the red light at an intersection is activated.

Project Outcome

During a two-day enforcement period officers issued more than 300 citations for red light running. More than 70 percent of the citations written were the result of the use of the "downstream" lights. Without the "downstream" lights, those citations probably would not have been written. 8

Legal Considerations

Time was spent with the city judges to explain the idea of the "downstream" lighting system. The judges were shown one location where the lights were installed and allowed them to monitor the operation of the lights. As a result, the judges had no resistance in endorsing the "downstream" lighting system.

More Information

Paul Purvis
Engineering Technician
411 W. Arapaho Road
Richardson, TX 75080
(972) 238-4277

Deputy Chief Larry Zacharias
Richardson Police Department
140 N. Greenville Ave.
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 238-3800


The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) uses an extensive media campaign along with enforcement in their aggressive driving program known as ADAPT (Aggressive Drivers are Public Threats). Unmarked patrol vehicles, motorcycles and aircraft are used for enforcement. Two Seconds for Safety is the leading component of the media campaign.

The campaign urges motorists to use the two-finger "peace" or "victory" sign with several different messages: "Thank you," for a courteous act of kindness, or "I’m sorry" or "Excuse me," for an inadvertent driving behavior that another motorist may view as aggressive. The two-finger "peace" or "victory sign" can also mean, always keep a two-second interval between you and the vehicle in front of you.

CSP has also produced several television Public Service Announcements (PSAs) with the use of volunteer drivers, donated vehicles, and a television helicopter. These PSAs have received three national awards of excellence from the safety and film industries. Hollywood’s Hal Needham, director of the hit movie, Smokey and The Bandit, and Bobby Orr, internationally recognized stunt car driver and their staffs, offered their services at no cost. These PSAs depict aggressive driving behavior sequences and give a message about safe driving. The Colonel of CSP, Lonnie Westphal, made these videos available to all law enforcement agencies. The PSAs can easily be adapted by adding a personalized logo, a shoulder patch or a localized message. Note: copies of these PSAs are available by contacting the CSP Public Affairs Division.

The CSP is using a computer at their communications center to handle motorists’ phone calls. A previous media campaign used *DUI (star, 384) to report impaired drivers. With the assistance of the computer system, another cell phone number, *CSP (star, 277) was added, to allow motorists to report aggressive drivers. The callers are also allowed to vent their frustrations regarding other motorists. When they receive a call at the communications center, the dispatcher determines if the call is an urgent circumstance or if it is someone venting their frustrations. If it is an emergency, the dispatcher handles the call and sends the assistance that is required. All other phone calls are forwarded to the computer system that logs the complaint. The computer system can track the license plate numbers of the vehicles with the aggressive driving behavior.

Once the computer data base logs three complaints on the same license plate number, a letter is sent to the registered owner, advising that person of the complaint. The CSP would eventually like to send troopers to the homes of the registered owners of the vehicles and issue citations based upon the complaints.

Each year, the CSP publishes a two-page annual report that lists the numbers of crashes, fatalities, DUI arrests, and the safety messages used in their many different media campaigns. The annual report is in a format that can folded and mailed, or given to motorists during a traffic stop.

Special Features

CSP has made excellent use of media involvement, PSAs, newspaper stories, pamphlets, and brochures to educate the public about aggressive driving. In addition, using a computer to handle the extra phone calls and track the license plate numbers has been a cooperative agreement with CSP and the developer of the computer.

Project Outcome

Colorado State Patrol’s driver information and education sheet that is given or mailed to drivers after a traffic stop.
In 1997, there was a 1.3 percent decrease in injury and fatal crashes, but the actual number of fatalities went up from 612 to 624 from 1996. In 1997, CSP investigated 9,303 non-speed, aggressive driving behavior crashes and 6,989 excessive speed crashes. In 1998, CSP investigated 10,137 non-speed aggressive driving behavior crashes and 5,415 excessive speed crashes. 9

Legal Considerations

The future plan of mailing citations after receiving three phone complaints will require enabling legislation. As with other photo enforcement or computer generated citations, legislation will need to determine if the citation is civil or criminal.

More Information

Captain Steve Smee
Colorado State Patrol
700 Kipling Street
Denver, CO 80215
(303) 239-4532

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

In October of 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Oklahoma City a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant to start an aggressive driving program. R.A.A.I.D. (Reduction of Accidents and Aggressive and Inconsiderate Drivers) became operational in September 1998. The goal of R.A.A.I.D. is to reduce crashes, particularly fatal crashes.

The grant was used to purchase automobiles, radar units, speed surveys, computer tracking of activities, and training of officers to use equipment and overtime funds for personnel. They require all law enforcement officers that work the overtime R.A.A.I.D. shifts to attend an eight-hour training session. These sessions train the officers in the background and history of the R.A.A.I.D. program, about the aggressive driving issues, radar operation training, identification of problem traffic areas and what is expected of the officer working the R.A.A.I.D. program.

There is extensive media coverage on the aggressive driving program. There are live broadcasts during enforcement efforts, guest appearances by public information and education officers and R.A.A.I.D. trained officers. The Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) also officers ride-alongs for the media.

OCPD continually monitors crash data and identifies ten high-crash areas. They assign the R.A.A.I.D. officers to those high crash areas. If a new high-crash area surfaces, they adjust the teams’ work locations. The program uses unmarked patrol vehicles.

Project Outcome

Statistics compared with the same time last year, before the R.A.A.I.D. program began, shows a decrease in the following categories.

Total crashes decrease 3.9%
Injury crashes decrease 11.2%
DUI injury decrease 17.3%
Fatality crashes decrease 23.1%

Legal Considerations

The Municipal Courts have set up special R.A.A.I.D. codes, which will help in tracking most of the citations issued during the R.A.A.I.D. enforcement efforts. Other things they will track are: total number of citations for a specific offense, final dispositions, conviction rates, and revenue generated because of the R.A.A.I.D. enforcement program.

During the February 1999 legislature, a bill was filed that would make it illegal for law enforcement officers in Oklahoma to use unmarked patrol vehicles. This bill would have greatly affected the R.A.A.I.D. law enforcement strategy. During the legislative session, many press conferences, radio interviews and newspaper stories were done, explaining the use of unmarked patrol vehicles and their value. Through the legislative process, standards were set on when and how they could deploy unmarked patrol vehicles.

A major issue in Oklahoma with unmarked patrol vehicles, is persons imitating law enforcement officers. The Oklahoma legislature addressed that issue by increasing the penalty for persons impersonating a law enforcement officer.

More Information

Captain John Gonshor
Airport Division/Traffic
Uniform Support Division
Oklahoma City Police Department
701 Colcord Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73102


The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s (OSHP) aggressive driving program is called, Operation TRIAD, Targeting Reckless, Intimidating, and Aggressive Drivers. District and local highway patrol posts are responsible for researching and recommending Operation TRIAD sites, providing manpower for the enforcement details, coordinating local law enforcement and media coverage. Operation TRIAD uses a large, fixed-wing aviation division and local highway patrol officers, combined with local law enforcement officers to deter aggressive or dangerous driving acts.

Aggressive driving enforcement will be used during peak traffic volume and density locations, complaint areas, high DUI areas, school bus routes, and high crash railroad crossings. The Operation TRIAD master plan uses the following driving behaviors as guidelines for targeting enforcement:

* Following too close
* Passing off the travel portion of highway
* Lane change violations
* Speeding beyond the traffic flow
* Merging into traffic from on-ramp through safety or gore area
* Failure to yield at ramps or intersections
* Railroad crossing violations
* Displaying or using a weapon

Special Features

The availability of twelve fixed-wing aircraft to observe traffic safely and to assist law enforcement reduces the number of complaints received about unsafe driving. The OSHP offers the aviation section services to local city and county law enforcement agencies to address their local traffic concerns.

Extensive media coverage of Operation TRIAD has been very successful in increasing public awareness about the enforcement details and in encouraging a safe driving environment for all motorists.

Project Outcome

During a given evaluation period, approximately half of all citations written during an Operation TRIAD enforcement effort were for speeding. With the use of the fixed-wing aircraft, the most common aggressive driving behaviors observed were following too close and passing off the travel portion of the highway.

Legal Considerations

The OSHP aviation section works closely with the local judges to train them about traffic safety and specifically aggressive driving. The section pilot contacts newly elected judges, and offers a ride-along in the plane to observe traffic from the air. The judges can see the traffic problems from the air and they can see how an operation works. They can observe how the pilot can follow a vehicle for two to five miles and develop a driving pattern over an extended distance. They can see how easy it is to maintain visual contact, make positive identification from the air and communicate this information to the ground troops.

More Information

S/Lieutenant Keith Haney
Aviation Section Commander
Ohio State Highway Patrol
2829 W. Dublin Granville Road
Columbus, OH 43235
(614) 466-4468


The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) aggressive driver program, Operation Chill, is the longest running in the country. Working closely with the Governor’s Office of Community and Highway Safety, it focuses both on enforcement and a strong media campaign. Unmarked patrol vehicles, motorcycles and marked patrol vehicles are used. Arizona DPS has produced an award winning PSA, 30 Seconds, Is It Worth It?

Arizona is one of three states that has an aggressive driving law that identifies and defines aggressive driving. Arizona’s aggressive driving statute 28-695 was added to the Reckless Driving Section and amended the name of the statute to Reckless and Aggressive Driving. The Arizona statute defines aggressive driving as a situation in which a person commits a violation of speeding and at least two other traffic violations (i.e., failure to obey traffic control devices, improper passing, driving off the pavement or traveled portion of the highway, following too close, failure to yield right-of-way, or driving in a way that is an immediate hazard to another person or vehicle).

Project Outcome

Arizona is one of the fastest growing states in the country. The city of Phoenix gains 3,000 families a month. Therefore, to look at just crash or fatality rates would not be an accurate measure of effectiveness. One way Arizona DPS has tried to gauge the problem is to watch the newspapers to see if there are articles or editorials about aggressive driving complaints. When citizens complaints about aggressive drivers, the DPS dispatcher relays a description of the vehicle to officers in the area.

Legal Considerations

Reckless and Aggressive Driving 28-695 was originally enacted in July 1998. The penalty assessed was six points against the driver’s license. The legislature amended and changed the law to assess eight points on the driving record and increased the elements necessary to prove aggressive driving.

More Information

Lieutenant Gary Zimmerman
Arizona Department of Public Safety
2610 S. 16th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034
(602) 223-2826


The Smooth Operator Program is a multi-agency enforcement and education effort in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The leadership of the program changes yearly, on a rotating basis, between the law enforcement agencies involved in the program. There are currently 21 law enforcement agencies from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., involved in the combined effort.

The program uses coordinated enforcement waves, four times a year, to deter aggressive driving and reduce crashes. Marked and unmarked patrol vehicles, as well as non-traditional vehicles are used. Each of the agencies target aggressive drivers in their own area of jurisdiction, during each of the enforcement waves.

Special Features

The cooperative relationship with several agencies has allowed all agencies to work together for a common purpose. There are several cities and law enforcement agencies within a small area. Agencies share media exposure and give a unified voice about a traffic safety issue.

Video cameras and radar units have been installed in several vehicles to assist the law enforcement officer gather evidence for court.

Project Outcome

According to the Texas Transportation Institute, Urban Roadway Congestion Report 1982-1993, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is rated the second most congested traffic area in the country. There are crashes every day and those crashes cause even more congestion. The public is aware that the congestion affects law enforcement’s ability to enforce and respond to hazardous situations. Programs like Smooth Operator, that educate the public about aggressive driving and also give the perception that law enforcement enforces traffic laws, have been successful. During one six-month period, over 60,000 citations and warnings were written for aggressive driving with the Smooth Operator program. The enforcement waves that this program conducts reinforce the media campaign about aggressive driving.

Legal Considerations

Each Smooth Operator law enforcement officer works in their own jurisdiction and writes citations to their regular courts.

More Information

Sergeant Bud Dulaney
Prince William County Police Department
15949 Cardinal Drive
Woodbridge, VA 22191
(703) 792-7283


The United States Army Aberdeen Test Center, in a technology transfer initiative with the Federal Highway Administration, the Maryland State Highway Administration, and the Maryland State Police (MSP), developed the A.D.V.A.N.C.E. (Aggressive Driving Video and Non Contact Enforcement) Vehicle. The system was developed to assist the MSP in identifying aggressive drivers on the Capital Beltway.

The vehicle uses lasers to determine the range and speed of vehicles on the highway and a computer system to record video images of the front, side and rear of a vehicle when the vehicle’s measured speed exceeds a predetermined threshold. The information is quickly assembled into a violation report that is sent to the violator. A manual override allows the operator to trigger the acquisition of video data in order to capture other aggressive driving patterns such as following too close and erratic lane changes.

The operator is able to view live video from any camera by selecting the appropriate switch on the front of the video monitor. The system also has the capability of recording traffic statistical information as speed distributions (histograms) of vehicles in the flow of traffic. These data allow the operator to estimate the average speed of traffic.

Data is saved on a removable disk and subsequently used to generate violation reports that can be analyzed or mailed to the owner of the vehicle. The operator can review any and all data on the computer monitor.

Special Features

The Project A.D.V.A.N.C.E. vehicle, designed by Aberdeen Test Center is fully equipped with state-of-the-art-technology.

MSP uses a strong media campaign advising drivers of the Project A.D.V.A.N.C.E. vehicle, highway signs, and other unmarked patrol vehicles to help the MSP deal with an estimated 200,000 vehicles a day that drive on the Capital Beltway.

Maryland State Police’s Project A.D.V.A.N.C.E. that shows a diagram of the vehicle layout.
Technology Used

The Project A.D.V.A.N.C.E. uses a vehicle equipped with technology that has not traditionally been used in traffic enforcement. The lidar speed-measuring device, coupled with a new device called Autosense, measures the speed of the vehicle. The Autosense device triggers the side and rear cameras to take pictures of the vehicle, the registration plate and the operator.

The A.D.V.A.N.C.E. system establishes a database of violations that includes pictures of the vehicle, that can be mailed to the vehicle’s owner.

Project Outcome

The design and implementation of the A.D.V.A.N.C.E. project is a joint technology exchange between the Department of Defense, United States Army, Federal Highway Administration, Maryland State Highway Commission, and MSP. Cooperating efforts like this will continue to bring new technologies to the law enforcement arena to improve officer and law enforcement effectiveness. Each time the A.D.V.A.N.C.E. vehicle is used, more is learned about how to improve the vehicle and the system.

A strong public information and education campaign, along with highway signs advising of the A.D.V.A.N.C.E. vehicle and support by other Maryland State Police will educate the public about aggressive driving and help change driving behavior.

Legal Considerations

In the State of Maryland, citations cannot be mailed to the violator. The law enforcement officer has to make immediate contact with the driver and the driver has to be allowed to sign the citation. Enabling legislation is needed to allow citations to be mailed to the violator.

A traffic violation in Maryland currently assesses points to the driving record. Since points are assessed, the driver has to be contacted and identified immediately. Jurisdictions that currently use photo enforcement have reduced citations to a civil infraction. There are no points assessed and the driver only pays a fine.

More Information

Sergeant Janet Harrison
Maryland State Police
Commercial Vehicle Division
901 Elkridge Landing Road, Suite 300
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090
(410) 694-6100

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

NHTSA awarded a grant to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) to demonstrate and evaluate innovative enforcement and public information and education programs to reduce aggressive driving. This was an 18-month project that began in October 1998. Milwaukee’s plan outlines eight separate, three-week enforcement efforts focusing on aggressive driving behavior.

Milwaukee Police Department’s "Aggression Suppression" logo
Special Features

Milwaukee’s plan features some innovative enforcement waves such as an "angel patrol" for those drivers who drive faster than their guardian angel can fly, the "flasher patrol" for those drivers who do not use their turn signals when turning or switching lanes, and the "basket patrol" for the drivers who like to weave in and out of traffic.

A strong media campaign announced the enforcement efforts and advised the public about safe driving habits. They produced an aggressive driving logo that was used on all publications and media events.

Milwaukee paid particular attention to recording driving behavior before, during and after the demonstration project to identify any change in driver behavior. They changed the citation forms to allow the officer to denote the incident was aggressive driving and to track the number of incidences and citations.

Technology Used

The Milwaukee Police Department evaluated new technology that measured the distance between vehicles. This technology was tested but at this time is non-evidential and cannot be referenced in court. Speed display boards were placed on designated routes to advise the public of their speed.

Project Outcomes

The goals of the Milwaukee project were:

* Develop an innovative enforcement strategy to reduce aggressive driving
* Develop and evaluate the effectiveness of public information and education programs to discourage aggressive driving
* Document the involvement of drugs and alcohol
* Identify legislative, prosecutorial and judicial needs to address the problem
* Reduce the area’s per capita congestion costs, fuel waste, and lost person hours because of congestion

More Information

Terry L. Witkowski
Safety Director
Milwaukee Safety Commission
Safety Academy
6680 North Teutonia Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53209
(414) 935-7994


This manual is intended to generate discussion and to assist law enforcement agencies who wish to develop aggressive driving enforcement programs. Much of the information used for this manual is based on successful experiences of law enforcement agencies. The recommended guidelines and suggestions can be adopted or modified to fit any size law enforcement agency, with any number of officers and other available resources.

Law enforcement officials are encouraged to contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/adsped.htm or to contact them at the following address for resources and to learn more about aggressive driving enforcement programs.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Traffic Law Enforcement Division, NTS-13
400 Seventh Street, SW.
Washington, D.C. 20590
Phone: (202) 366-4295
Fax: (202) 366-7721

Partnership Organizations

American Institute for Public Safety
12000 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 705
North Miami, FL 33181
(305) 895-2617

Citizens Against Drug Impaired Driving (CANDID)
P.O. Box 17705
Milwaukee, WI 53217
(414) 352-2043
Web Site: www.candid.org

Citizens Against Speeding and Aggressive Driving (CASAD)
P.O. Box 77087
Washington, D.C. 20013-7087
(202) 244-7377
E-mail: roadrights@aol.com
Web site: www.aggressivedriving.org

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
National Office
511 East John Carpenter Freeway #700
Irving, TX 75062
(214) 744-6233

National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances (NCUTLO)
107 S. West Street, #110
Alexandria, VA 22314
E-mail: ncutloceo@rica.net

National Road Safety Foundation
3 New York Plaza, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
(212) 837-4844 (Michelle Garcia)
(516) 726-2705 (Adele Kristiansson)
E-mail: nrsf@compuserve.com
E-mail: kristiansson@mindspring.com

Student Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
P.O. Box 800
Marlboro, MA 01752
(508) 481-3568

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Regional Offices

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has 10 Regional offices that work on the agency's mission to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce traffic-related health care and other economic costs. Each Regional office provides numerous services to the states and other public and private sector customers, including technical assistance; promoting legislation; administering the Agency's grant programs; assisting in coalition building; and delivering training.

State and Community Traffic Safety Program Services Works with the Governors' Representatives for Highway Safety and their designated representatives to plan and administer a variety of Federal grant programs.

NHTSA Region I
Transportation Systems Center
Kendall Square Code 903
Cambridge, MA 02142
617-494-3646 Fax
States - CT,ME, MA, NH, RI, VT

222 Mamaroneck Avenue Suite 204
White Plains, NY 10605
914-682-6239 Fax
States - NY, NJ, PR, VI

10 South Howard Street
Suite 4000
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-962-2770 Fax
States - DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV

61 Forsyth Street, SW
Suite 17T30
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-562-3763 Fax
States - AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN

NHTSA Region V
19900 Governors Drive, Suite 201
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
708-503-8991 Fax
States - IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI

819 Taylor Street Room 8a38
Fort Worth, TX 76102-6177
817-978-8339 Fax
States - AR, LA, NM, OK, TX, Indian N.

901 Locust Street
Kansas City, MO 64106
816-329-3910 Fax
States - IA, KS, MO, NE

555 Zang Street, Room 430
Denver, CO 80228
303-969-6294 Fax
States - CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY

201 Mission Street, Suite 2230
San Francisco, CA 94105
415-744-2532 Fax
States - AZ, CA, HI, NV, Amer. Samoa, Guam, Mariana Island

NHTSA Region X
3140 Jackson Federal Building
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174
206-220-7651 Fax
States - AK, ID, OR, WA


1. National Survey of Speeding and Other Unsafe Driving Actions, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, January 1999.

2. Traffic Safety Facts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1998.

3. Aggressive Driving and Insurance, Insurance Federation of Minnesota, Sherry Ask, April 1999.

4. Our Nations Highways, Selected Facts and Figures, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Highway Information Management.

5. Massachusetts State Police, 3-D, Drugged, Drunken and Dangerous Driving, Troop A’s Comprehensive Crash Reduction Initiative.

6. The Albuquerque Police Department’s Safe Streets Program, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Prepared by Jack Stuster, Ph.D., CPE, Principal Scientist.

7. Pennsylvania State Police: Crashes with Deaths, Injuries drop in Centipede and TAG-D Zones, press release, Pennsylvania State Police.

8. "Downstream Lighting": An Aid to Red Light Enforcement, Texas Police Journal, Lieutenant J. Larry Lowe, Richardson Police Department, September 1998

9. Colorado State Patrol Annual Report, Office of Public Affairs, Linda Allen,. 1997, 1998

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