Presentation on theme: "TRAFFIC LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DEFENSIVE DRIVING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE."— Presentation transcript:
TRAFFIC LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DEFENSIVE DRIVING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
I. INTRODUCTION A. The driving privilege: 1. Driving in every state is a privilege earned by mastering the operation of a motor vehicle, knowing and following the laws that govern the contacts between pedestrians and others others on the roadway.
2. The responsibility of driving motor vehicles: a. Operating a motor vehicle is a serious responsibility because it is a potentially dangerous weapon. b. Operating a motor vehicle without a proper understanding of driving and safety regulations can be extremely dangerous.
3.In order to avoid collisions, a driver must continuously improve and sharpen driving skills and maintain a safe, positive driving attitude. 4.Superior driving skills require good judgment and the ability to make the right choices. a. Obey state traffic laws. b.Always be courteous and patientwith other drivers.
c.Do not let the actions of others cause you to make poor choices. d.Do not take unnecessary risks that could potentially jeopardize your safety or the safety of others on the road.
e. Remain alert and observant at all times. f. Be knowledgeable about and properly maintain your vehicle. g. Drive only when you are mentally and physically able to drive.
B. Traffic collisions cost the national economy billions of dollars through property damage, medical costs, insurance premiums, and job time lost.
1. The loss due to traffic collisions represents more loss than all other police matters combined. 2.The cost of personal or family disruption due to traffic collisions cannot be measured in dollars. a. Careers are destroyed or delayed. b. Mental and physical suffering cannot be measured.
3. When traffic laws are not enforced, accidents tend to increase.
C. Over 12 million collisions occur in the United States each year. 1. One out of every four licensed drivers is involved in a collision each year. a. The number of injuries and deaths due to collisions is considered to be of epidemic proportion.
2. Each year, 35,000 to 45,000 people are killed while millions are injured, and many more suffer permanent disabilities. 3. More than one ‑ quarter of Americans have been involved in a car accident in the last five years. a. About 26% of drivers have beeninvolved in a car crash in the last five years.
b. There were 11,773 alcohol ‑ related fatalities in 2008. c. More than half the fatalities reported were not wearing seatbelts. d. Motorcycle fatalities have been steadily increasing.
4. A fatal automobile accident occurs every 13 to 15 minutes claiming our very youngest and very oldest drivers. a. Americans from the ages of 1 to 33 are more likely to die from a car accident than from anything else. b. On the other side of the spectrum, elderly adults aged 75 and up are most affected by motor vehicle crashes.
5. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that most drivers engage in activities that take their attention way from the road. These activities include: a. talking with other passengers
b. playing with the radio or CD c. eating or drinking d. using a cell phone
6. The National Safety Council has listed eight driving offenses as principal accident causing violations. These violations include: a. excessive speed b. driving while intoxicated c. failure to yield right of way
d. following another vehicle too closely e. improper turning movements f. failure to stop at stop signs g. improper passing h. Disregarding signs and signals
D. Speed is a factor in almost 30 percent of all fatal crashes, killing an average of 1,000 Americans every month. 1. In 2008, more than 13,040 people died in speed related automobile crashes.
2. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the economic cost to society of speed ‑ related crashes to be more than $40 billion each year. a. Health care costs alone are about $4 billion per year.
II.TRAFFIC LAW ENFORCEMENT A.Shortly after the invention of the motor ‑ driven vehicle, it became apparent that rules and regulations governing the drivers of this new invention had to be established, and that strict enforcement of the rules of the road would soon be necessary.
1. Thus we have the setting for the modern ‑ day state vehicle codes and for determining the responsibilities of the city, county, and state police in enforcing the provisions of these codes.
2.To enforce all traffic laws would be an impossibility; a. individual patrol and traffic officers must use a common sense approach. b. officers must enforce those laws which, when violated, create the greatest probability of an accident. (1)This procedure is sometimes termed priority or selective enforcement.
B.The great majority of patrol and traffic officers throughout our country would rather warn an offender than issue a citation. 1.Generally, the rule of thumb is to warn a driver causing a minor infraction of the traffic law and to cite those who cause violations that would most likely cause an accident.
a.A police agency cannot effectively set a policy of when or where to issue or not issue a citation. b. This is a decision that only the officer observing the offense is qualified to make.
2. Contrary to public perception most, if not all traffic officers issue verbal warnings as an enforcement tool.. a.Some departments have found great success at issuing written "warning" tickets to educate violators.
C. For a police agency to establish a written or unwritten policy prescribing the number of citations that an officer should write is to set a quota system. 1.There are many reasons against the establishment of such a system. Among them are:
a. The officer may write inferior (borderline) citations in order to meet a quota. b. Officers may feel that they are writing citations just to make money for the city, county, or state instead of performing a traffic enforcement function.
c. A well ‑ worded warning, as opposed to a citation may result in a more careful driver and community support for the law enforcement agency. d. Establishing a quota infringes on an officer's "discretionary decision making."
e. Implementing a quota to improve an officer's performance might encourage poor quality enforcement. (1). In order to meet a quota, officers may be tempted to write "easy to catch" violations as opposed to the type of violations which cause the most accidents.
2.Quotas are no longer employed in our modern police agencies. a. Police administrators realize that an alert traffic officer has no problem in spotting accident causing violations. b.Common sense will be the guide in an officer deciding whether to issue a verbal warning, written warning or to cite the offending driver.
D. The main purpose of traffic enforcement is to prevent loss of life and property. 1.Investigation by police has helped to recognize contributing factors of accidents and law making has been the primary response.
2. Laws don't enforce themselves, so a mechanism has been created to observe, apprehend and refer violators to the sanctioning entities ‑ the courts, the driver licensing authority and motor vehicle department – for penalties.
3.The police officer in traffic safety has the potential to be the most important person in the enforcement system. a. Nearly all other safety activities depend on what he/she does. (1)Engineering needs input from accident investigations to improve highway design.
(2)Education relies on statistics gathered by police officers to better inform the public.
b. Most important, and overshadowing all other reasons, is the fact that police can deter violations to a far greater degree than any other sanctioning agency. c. It is the thought of getting caught in the act of violating a law is what creates most of the self ‑ discipline in driving.
E. Law enforcement role in maintaining traffic safety. 1. To enforce state traffic laws, regulate traffic movement, and conduct traffic accident investigations.
2. Police agencies must ensure they maintain deployment responsive to the traffic problems within their jurisdiction. 3. The patrol officer must be able to identify and document critical safety information for future highway developments.
III.COMPONENTS OF DEFENSIVE DRIVING A.What is defensive driving? 1.Driving so as to prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others, or the presence of adverse driving conditions.
2.Defensive driving is a matter of a safety minded attitude, good driving skills, maturity and courtesy. 3.Defensive driving is understanding and obeying traffic laws coupled with a continued effort to improve driving skills. a.Defensive driving is being alert to perceive potential driving hazards and to exercise sound judgment.
B. Driving attitudes or how we look at our driving are individual manners developed over a life time of driving experiences.
1. These attitudes are a product of our life style which can be heavily influenced by how we feel the pressures from other drivers and our driving experiences. a. Understanding how our motions and attitudes influence our driving are central themes underlying the positive driving knowledge required of a defensive driver.
2. The defensive driver must understand what driving behavior is desired, and what attitudes present negative influences on that desired behavior. a. Overconfidence: The feeling that the person knows everything there is to know about his/her vehicle and driving.
b. Self ‑ righteousness: That sure and certain knowledge that the driver is always right which can lead to impaired judgment.
c. Impatience: Always in a hurry, which can result in poor driving habits that include: (1) driving at speeds unsafe for conditions (2) unsafe passing of other motorists
(3) following traffic ahead too closely (4)making unsafe lane changes in traffic (5)making unsafe turning movements (6)abuse of the vehicles equipment
d.Pre ‑ occupation: Being pre-occupied with thoughts or actions not related to driving delays perception and increases the possibility of having an accident.
This includes: (1)allowing work or personal problems to occupy the thought processes (2) distractions such as adjusting the radio, talking to others in the car, looking at road maps, shaving, and using a cellular phone
C.Factors that affect driving: stress, fatigue, physiological factors, and emotions 1.Emotions, attitudes, and habits can have a powerful influence over the way you drive.
a. When you are stressed, tired, angry, or upset, you are less likely to pay attention to your driving. (1)You may not see hazards or react as quickly, and the chance of getting into a collision will increase. (2)If you are angry or stressed, you are more likely to drive recklessly or become aggressive toward other drivers.
2.Short ‑ term physical impairments such as fatigue, illness, and alcohol or drug use can also have adverse effects on driver performance by hindering critical senses. a.Fatigue and illness can greatly impact a drivers’ability to hear and see potential hazards around them. (Rest or change drivers)
b.Motorists who are under the influence of alcohol, medication or other drugs will experience negative effects on their other senses as well. (1)They may lose their ability to feel the road's condition through the steering wheel.
(2)They may lose their ability to smell mechanical malfunctions such as an overheating engine or a gas leak.
c.Smoking reduces night vision and is a distraction to concentration required in driving. d. The use of alcohol or other drugs may cause serious physiological conditions which directly affect mental ability at both motor skill and reasoning levels.
3. Physiological factors needed to effectively operate a motor vehicle safely include: a. Vision: includes acuity, depth perception, field of vision, color recognition and night vision. b.Hearing: includes tuning in and out external interferences that can affect the safe operation of the vehicle.
c.Sensory: includes equilibrium, touch, and sensations. d.Smell: being sensitive to gasoline, overheated brakes, and motor malfunctions. e.Timing: includes coordination and reaction skills related to safe driving.
4. Psychomotor skills: a.involve steering the vehicle b. proper braking and throttle pressure c.good eye and hand coordination d.proper timing and execution of turns
5.“Road rage” includes deliberate tailgating, yelling at other drivers, using obscene gestures, purposely blocking other drivers paths, and in extreme cases, assaulting others. a.There are things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of road rage that include:
(1) Avoiding the urge to honk your horn or flash your high beams at other drivers out of anger or frustration. (2) Do not tailgate, block the passing lane or merging lanes.
(3) Do not play your music too loud. (4) Do not change lanes without first signaling. (5) Avoid making eye contact with angry drivers, gesturing, or participating in challenges of any kind.
6.To reduce your chances of experiencing a collision, remember these key points: a.If you are upset, ill, angry, or tired, don't drive. b.If you must take drugs that can make you drowsy, don't drive.
c.Do not drink alcohol or eat a heavy meal before driving. d.Don't ride with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs prior to or during driving. e.Stop for regular "stretch breaks" and don't drive for long periods of time.
D. The task of driving a motor vehicle on our state highway system 1.Driving involves a continuous accumulation of knowledge.
a.Improvement can always be made upon your physical and social driving skills. b.Important mental skills like good judgment, awareness, and anticipation all play a significant role when you are taking part in the driving process.
2.Good defensive drivers try to avoid: a. Traffic citations ‑ A traffic ticket is often an indicator of poor driving habits. (1)Tickets often result in court costs costs and increased auto insurance rates.
b. Vehicle neglect ‑ This can bring about dangerous breakdowns or result in a collision. (1)Financially, neglect can cost drivers more in expensive collision repairs and towing costs than a minor repair might cost.
c. Collisions ‑ These can cause temporary or permanent injuries or death. (1)They also may result in costly repairs, higher insurance rates, loss of transportation and possible suspension of driving privilege.
IV. THE DRIVING ENVIRONMENT A. Weather can create a driving hazard. Special care must be taken in fog, rain, high winds and winter driving conditions.
1. FOG: It is best not to drive in fog. However, if you must drive in fog, take the following precautions:
a.Slow down. If you see headlights or taillights, slow down even more. (1)A driver may be driving in the center of the roadway or may be stopped or barely moving. b.Drive with your headlights set on dim, or use fog lights.
c.Do not overdrive your headlights. (1)Stay within the limits of your vision because you may have to stop suddenly. (2)If the fog is too dense, pull off the roadway to a safe location and stop.
d.Use your turn signal long before you turn and brake early when you approach a stop to warn other drivers.
2. RAIN: When rain begins to fall lightly, water, dust, oil, and leaves cause the roadway to become slippery. a.During rainy conditions increase your following distance and reduce speed.
b. Take special care on curves and turns and while braking. c. You should use your headlights when operating your wipers to be more visible to other motorists.
d. When rain begins to fall heavily, your tires may “hydroplane” at higher speeds. (1)This means the tires are riding on a layer of water and not on the road-way. Tire
(2)Avoid hydroplaning by slowing down. (3)If you skid while hydroplaning, try to regain control of the vehicle by easing off the accelerator and steering through the skid.
3.HIGH WINDS: Wind is especially difficult for drivers of trucks, recreational vehicles, campers and trailers-in-tow. a.In high winds, reduce speed and make steering corrections when going from a protected area to an open area and when meeting large vehicles such as trucks and buses.
4. WINTER DRIVING: Winter is one of the most difficult driving seasons in many parts of the country because of ice, snow, lower temperatures and fewer daylight hours. When driving in winter conditions: a.drive slower and increase following distance.
b.remove all snow and ice from the vehicle prior to operating it on the highway. c.do not start driving until your windshield is defrosted and clear. d. be sure the vehicle headlights and taillights are visible.
e.use snow tires and/or tire chains as needed and where permitted. f.start slowly and use brakes gently. g. begin braking early when approaching an intersection or a stop sign.
5. DRIVING ON HILLS AND AROUND CURVES: requires special consideration. a.If you are driving downhill, you are driving with the force of gravity, and your vehicle's weight causes your speed to increase quickly.
b. Use your brakes and transmission carefully to avoid wear and damage to your vehicle’s engine and brake system.
c. When driving uphill, you are driving against the force of gravity. (1)Your use of the gas pedal and transmission affects the power and speed with which you climb the hill and the efficiency of your engine. (2)Overheating is a problem when driving in mountainous areas.
d. Visibility is often decreased when driving on hills. (1)Drive with caution and drive only as fast as conditions allow. (2)Obey roadway signs and markings. (3)Watch for obstacles such as rocks, snow, animals, and slower traffic.
(4) Use low ‑ beam headlights to increase your visibility. (5) Watch for roads damaged from washouts, rock slides, or landslides. (6) If you meet a car going in the opposite direction of your vehicle, the general rule is to give the right ‑ of ‑ way to the uphill traffic.
(7)When passing other vehicles, look for an appropriate place to pass. (8) Do not become impatient because you are stuck behind a slow ‑ moving vehicle.
B. Equipment failure often results in automobile accidents. One of the most important things a driver can do is remain calm. Equipment failures may include: 1. BLOWOUTS: A thumping sound from the tire area may be a warning of a blowout.
a.If this happens, ease your foot off the gas pedal and keep a firm grasp on the steering wheel. b.Do not brake suddenly. Pull safely off the roadway and check your tires.
2. LOSS OF A WHEEL: React as you would with a blowout. a. Ease off the gas pedal and pull off the roadway.
3. STEERING FAILURE: If you suddenly have no control of the steering wheel, a. ease your foot off the gas pedal; b. turn on your emergency flashers and allow your vehicle to come to a slow stop; c. brake very gently to prevent your vehicle from spinning out of control.
4. BRAKE FAILURE: If your brake pedal suddenly sinks to the floor, a. pump the brake pedal to build pressure; b.if that does not work, use your emergency or parking brake.
c.To slow down, shift your vehicle into a lower gear. d.Do not turn off the ignition, you will lose either your power steering or your ability to steer.
5. HEADLIGHT FAILURE: If your headlights fail suddenly, a.try your emergency flashers, parking lights and/or turn signals and pull off the road; b. If your lights begin to dim, drive to a service station or pull off the road and seek help.
6. STUCK GAS PEDAL: If the gas pedal becomes stuck, a. hook your toe under it to try and free it; b. If it does not become free, shift your vehicle into neutral and brake gently to slow down.
c. If you have power steering or a locking steering wheel, do not turn off the ignition, you will lose either your power steering or your ability to steer.
7. BLOCKED VISION: If your vision becomes blocked, a. roll down the side window to see; b.turn on your emergency flashers and then safely pull the vehicle off the road onto the shoulder.
C. The greater the amount of traffic on the road, the greater the possibility of conflicts and collisions 1.The proportion of vehicles in traffic creates traffic problems with passing and stopping distances.
a. Listen to weather and traffic reports and plan ahead for the best travel times and routes. b. Anticipate traffic congestion and mentally prepare for delays to avoid hurrying. c.Avoid breakdowns by keeping your vehicle in good operating condition.
d. When planning a long trip, use a map to familiarize yourself with your route prior to driving. e. If you leave late, plan to arrive late – drivers in a hurry can be dangerous.
V. RULES OF THE ROAD (These provisions may vary slightly from one state to another.) The following list of guidelines are enforceable rules governing driver conduct generally recognized in most states.
A. Registration of vehicles 1.The basic requirement is that all vehicles must be registered and appropriate fees paid prior to the vehicle being placed on or coming in direct contact with a highway.
2. Drivers must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles when they have a change of address. 3. The owner is required to keep the registration card or a facsimile copy with the vehicle for which issued.
4. License plate (s) must be securely attached and clearly visible. 5.Upon transfer of ownership, a seller must notify the department of motor vehicles after the sale.
B. Driver’s licensing requirements 1. No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, without a valid driver license in his/her possession. a. Includes driving out of vehicle classification – buses, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, etc.
2. It is unlawful to refuse to present a driver license when lawfully requested to do so by a police officer. 3. No person shall operate a vehicle in violation of the provisions of a restricted license issued to him/her. a.driving without corrective lenses b.special mechanical control devices
4. It is unlawful to lend a driver license to any other person or knowingly permit its use by another person. 5. It is unlawful to display another person’s license with intent to commit fraud. 6. It is unlawful to make unauthorized alterations to a driver license.
C.Signs, signals and markings 1.Vehicles approaching a red light or stop sign the driver must stop at the limit line or crosswalk prior to entering the intersection.
2. A pedestrian may proceed on the "walk" or "walking-person" symbol, but shall not start to cross the roadway when a flashing or steady "don't walk", "wait", or "upraised-hand" symbol is displayed. 3. A flashing red light used with a traffic signal or traffic sign has the same effect as a stop sign.
a.A driver shall stop at the limit line before entering the crosswalk, or before entering the intersection. b. The driver then may proceed only after yielding the right-of-way to traffic on the through highway.
4. When drivers see a flashing yellow signal, they should proceed slowly with caution through the intersection. 5. It is unlawful to drive over, upon, across, or to the left of the barrier, double parallel lines, or dividing section of a divided highway.
D. Driving, overtaking and passing 1. Except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction upon all highways a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway. 2. It is unlawful to drive the wrong way on a freeway, turnpike or highway.
3. It is unlawful to make an unsafe lane change. 4. It is unlawful to obstruct the driver's view or control of the vehicle: a. this includes passengers or a load.
5. The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent: a.having due regard for the speed of such vehicle b.the traffic upon, and the condition of the roadway.
6. It is unlawful to pass other traffic on the right when it is unsafe or by using shoulder of the roadway.
E. Right-of-way 1. When two vehicles enter the intersection from different highways at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right.
2. Drivers making left turns at intersections or into public or private property must yield to oncoming traffic until it is reasonably safe to complete the turn.
3. Drivers must yield to emergency vehicles by safely coming to a stop and remaining stopped until the emergency vehicles have safely passed.
F. Regulations governing pedestrians 1. Drivers must yield to pedestrians legally within a crosswalk. 2. A pedestrian may not walk or run in front of oncoming traffic that is so close as to cause a hazard.
3. It is unlawful not to yield the right of way to a blind pedestrian who is lawfully within the intersection.
G. Turning, stopping and signaling 1. Drivers must be in the proper lane position when making turns at intersection.
2. It is unlawful for any driver of a vehicle to fail to obey any sign or signal erected or maintained to carry out the provisions of the motor vehicle code.
3. No person shall start a vehicle which is stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway, until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.
4. No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety. a.and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.
H. Guidelines pertaining to speed limits for motor vehicles 1. It is unlawful to exceed the state maximum speed limit.
2. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for: a. weather, visibility, the traffic on,
b.the surface and width of the highway, c.and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
3. Impeding normal flow of traffic in lanes other than the right hand lane is unlawful. 4. In some states, certain types of trucks and cars towing other vehicles or trailers are restricted to lower speed limits.
I. Special stops required 1. Drivers are required to stop at the limit line, crosswalk, or entrance to an intersection when approaching a stop sign or red traffic signal.
2. Drivers are required to stop for an electronic railroad signal device or closely approaching train when no device is present at a railroad crossing.
3. It is unlawful to drive through closed railroad crossing gates or warning signal lights.
4. It is unlawful to pass a stopped school bus when red lights are flashing as students are exiting the bus.
J. Stopping standing and parking 1. Parking too close to a fire station driveway is unlawful.
2. Parking in such a way as to block a driveway is unlawful.
3. Parking in spaces designated for disabled persons is prohibited without the proper placard.
4. It is unlawful to leave a car parked unattended too close to a fire hydrant. 5.It is unlawful to open a car door into oncoming traffic when unsafe, or to leave car doors open in traffic lane.
K. These driving behaviors are also prohibited by state law in most of our states 1. Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or off-street parking facility in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.
2. No person shall engage in any motor vehicle speed contest on a highway, and no person shall aid or abet in any motor vehicle speed contest on any highway.
3. Unlawfully depositing glass or trash on highway (litterbug).
4.Driving while under influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of both.
5.Drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving a motor vehicle on highway. 6.Being in personal possession of an opened container of an alcoholic beverage while in a motor vehicle on a highway.
L. Equipment requirements and maintenance of vehicles 1. It is unlawful to operate any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in an unsafe condition, which is not equipped as required, or which is unsafely loaded.
2. Lighting devices or equipment other than those required or permitted are unlawful. 3. It is unlawful to operate an unsafe motor vehicle after having been given notice by a peace officer.
M. Regulations governing lighting equipment 1. Driving without lights during darkness is unlawful. 2. Lighting equipment of required type, must be maintained in good working order. 3. At least two lighted headlamps are required during darkness unless riding a motorcycle.
4. High beam and low beam are required to be properly adjusted.
5. Drivers are required to dim their high beam headlamps when approaching or following traffic so close as to constitute a hazard.
6. The rear license plate light must vender the license plate clearly visible.
N. Brake requirements for automobiles, trucks and motorcycles 1. Every motor vehicle is required to have brake systems. a.Automobiles and trucks are required to have a service brake and parking brake. b. Motorcycles are required to maintain a service brake only.
2. The parking brake must be adequate keep a parked vehicle from rolling based on the vehicle load and grade. 3. Brakes must be maintained in good working order.
this concludes Traffic Law Enforcement and Defensive Driving