Virginia donations are part of the approximately $ 600 million the National Road Safety Administration sends to states each year. Lucia Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the federal agency, said she does not promote or demand quotas or targets for grant recipients.
But a review of government grant applications found that the number of traffic stops is usually a measure of performance. In Arkansas, for example, the goal was “three vehicle stops per hour” among grant-funded patrols, while in Madison, SD, police officers had to “obtain two quotes per hour of donation”.
Indiana officials boasted in their 2014 annual report that police officers enforcing seat belt laws made an average of 3.26 stops per hour. One was in Hammond, where a police officer on a subsidy-funded patrol stopped a black family and ended up in a dispute with fellow passenger Jamal Jones after he demanded to be identified. The video shows police officers breaking a car window and shot Taser at Mr. Jones, who, in accordance with a lawsuit he later filed, tried to obtain a document that he would use for identification.
It was a traffic fine.
For all the billions the police have spent on promoting ticket writing, there is little evidence that this has helped achieve the main goal of the grant: reducing fatal road accidents.
In 2019, they were 33,244 mortal accidents across the country, from 30,296 in 2010. Traffic safety experts say targeted enforcement work, but improvements in automotive technology and motorway engineering are contributing much of the progress from the 1970s and 1980s, when the annual fatal accident routinely exceeded 40,000.
Following George Floyd’s protests, some municipalities and states are reconsidering their approach to stopping traffic. Berkeley, California, proposed relocation away from police prosecution, in favor of an unarmed civilian corps; Virginia lawmakers have banned shutdowns due to faulty taillights, tinted windows and loud exhaust.
A drop out of the Nazario case moved Windsor look for ways slow down traffic “while reducing contact with the police and citizens”, including electronic signs and rumbling tapes. Windsor Police also abolished donation-funded patrols, saying it was “in the best interests of our agency and our community.”
When the city council presented a new budget for the next financial year, it envisioned an increase in revenue from all but one of the main sources: traffic fines.
Arya Sundaram contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.