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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety




Enforcement projects work best when they are targeted at dangerous road sections or dangerous road behaviour, are accompanied by various publicity and communication activities, and when they result in swift and appropriate penalties for traffic offenders. In order to maximize the potential of traffic law enforcement, the police must work together with various authorities and agencies to prepare, perform and evaluate (speed) enforcement activities.

The main partners for the police are the local road authorities, court officials, publicity organizations, and researchers. Local road authorities and researchers may assist the police in analysing the local road safety problem and setting priorities. Cooperation with court officials or public prosecution officials is necessary in order to have clarity about the guidelines for detection and sentencing of traffic offenders and the capacity to process a larger number of traffic offenders. Publicity organizations can organize special publicity programmes around the new enforcement project, but they will need to discuss the choices for the most effective media campaign strategy with police and local road authorities.

Ideally, co-operation between police and partners is grounded on a well-prepared plan that outlines agreements, task division, and shared and separate responsibilities. Goldenbeld et al. [28] put forth the following list of topics to be included in such an enforcement plan:

  • A clear description of the aims and targets to be achieved by the enforcement activities
  • Clear agreements with other parties, e.g. regional and local road safety authorities, municipalities, Department of Justice, fine handling authority, etc.
  • Consideration of which groups of road users the publicity or enforcement activity can be specifically targeted at
  • The support of enforcement activities by additional measures alongside the road such as adding or placing road signs or road markings or making them more visible
  • A sensible choice of locations and times of enforcement operations
  • Consideration of the best mix between highly visible police checks and more unexpected, less visible controls
  • The set-up and execution of police checks according to time saving operational guidelines
  • A well-considered build-up and build-down of activities over a longer period of time
  • The choice of publicity strategy and message and publicity channels, including the informing the police officers involved in executing the enforcement operations
  • Evaluation of the extent to which agreements are fulfilled and the extent to which expected effects of enforcement activities have been realised.

The agreements mentioned above necessitate the availability of good performance, outcome and output measures. The next section discusses this topic.