Lichtenberg, I. D., & Smith, A. (2001). How dangerous are routine police–citizen traffic stops?: A research note. Journal of Criminal Justice, 29(5), 419-428.

Published on 10/01/2020

This note examined the danger of routine police–citizen traffic stops. The United States Supreme Court has assumed that traffic stops are a danger to police and has relied on this assumption in its decisions pertaining to the Fourth Amendment for these stops. To examine the assumption, ten years of national data on traffic stops, police homicides, and assaults were examined. Using the danger ratio developed by Garner and Clemmer [Danger to police in domestic disturbances. Washington DC: National Institute of Justice, 1986] to estimate the risk of police victimization, police homicides and assaults were found to be very infrequent occurrences during traffic encounters. The results of this study cast doubt on the Court’s assumption of danger during the routine police– citizen traffic encounter.

Langton, L., & Durose, M. R. (2013). Police behavior during traffic and street stops, 2011. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

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Miller, J., Bland, N., & Quinton, P. (2001). A Challenge for Police-Community Relations: Rethinking Stop and Search in England and Wales. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 9(1), 71-93.

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