1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. The work of the Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee was made possible through the volunteer efforts of committee members and their staffs and through the financial support of the National Highway Traffic Safety administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The LESS Subcommittee would like to recognize the special efforts of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Research Unit for writing the Staff Study Report and the Arizona Department of Public Safety for creating the companion PowerPoint presentation and summary article. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee members and not necessarily those of their employing agencies, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, or the National Highway Traffic Safety administration .
2 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS. Subcommittee Executive Summary ..6. POLICE VEHICLE. Introduction ..8. Facts Bearing on the Problem ..8. Research Results ..9. Conclusions .. 13. 13. H I G H WAY DESIGN AND ENVI RONMENT. Introduction .. 16. Facts Bearing on the Problem .. 16. Research Results .. 16. Conclusions .. 22. 22. POLIC Y AND PROCEDURE. Introduction .. 24. Facts Bearing on the Problem .. 24. Research Results .. 24. Conclusions .. 29. 30. AP PENDICES. Appendix A. Policy Tables .. 32. Appendix B. LESS Subcommittee Resolutions .. 38. 3. L AW E N F O R C E M E N T S TO P S A N D S A F E T Y.
3 S U B CO M M I T T E E M E M B E R S. Assistant Commissioner Earl M. Sweeney Lieutenant Colonel William R. Reutter New Hampshire Department of Safety Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Public Safety Chair, Highway Safety Committee Chair, LESS Subcommittee Mr. Richard J. Ashton Major Deston F. Coleman Highway Safety Committee Liaison Chief of Staff, Arizona Department of Public Safety International Association of Chiefs of Police Chair, Vehicle Group Deputy Chief Joseph A. Farrow Major Charles E. Andrews California Highway Patrol Alabama Department of Public Safety Chair, Policy/Procedure Group Chair, Highway Environment/Design Group Sergeant Robbie Milam Lieutenant James D.
4 Wells, Jr. Administrative Sergeant/Staff Office of Equipment, Compliance and Testing Arizona Department of Public Safety Florida Highway Patrol Colonel Paul D. McClellan Staff Inspector John W. Van Steenburg Superintendent Internal Affairs Bureau Ohio State Highway Patrol New York State Police Colonel Roger D. Stottlemyre Captain Brigette E. Charles Superintendent Planning Services Section Missouri State Highway Patrol Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer Roy C. Jacobsen Captain Gregory D. Kindle President Assistant Commander, Field Operations Bureau Phoenix Law Enforcement Association Missouri State Highway Patrol Inspector James R.
5 Dixon Lieutenant Colonel Dennis G. McDonald Manager, Traffic and Marine Section Deputy Chief of Police Ontario Provincial Police Chesterfield County, VA, Police Department Mr. Charles E. Miller, III. Mr. Garrett Morford Coordinator, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Chief, Enforcement and Justice Services Assaulted Program National Highway Transportation Safety administration Federal Bureau of Investigation Mr. Davey Warren Mr. T. Jeff Vining Office of Safety Programs Executive Director Federal Highway administration Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Advisory Council Mr.
6 Keith W. Sinclair Highway Safety Program Manager Mr. Brian Geraghty American Association of State Highway Transportation Director, Design Analysis Office Officials Ford Motor Company Mr. Gerald L. Appie Mr. R. Bruce Wiley Manager of Fleet Engineering Program Manager, Fleet & Commercial Operations Daimler Chrysler Motor Corporation General Motors Corporation Mr. Erik S. Jorgensen Mr. William Santana Li Engineering, General Motors Police Vehicles Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kerr Industries Limited The NORTH Company 4. F O R E WA R D. Traffic stops are integral to law enforcement, but can be one of the most dangerous facets of police work.
7 Statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation show that the third leading cause of death for on-duty police officers is being struck by a vehicle, accounting for nearly 10 percent of officer fatalities annually. FBI data also indicates officer deaths resulting from such incidents have increased steadily since 1991. A series of fatal crashes involving police vehicles brought needed attention to the issue of officer safe- ty during Traffic stops. In these crashes, police vehicles parked on the shoulder of high-speed roadways were struck from the rear and resulted in vehicle fires.
8 Since 1989, there have been 12 documented fatal crashes in which the fuel tank ruptured and fires resulted. In 2003, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Highway Safety Committee established the Law Enforcement Stops and Safety Subcommittee (LESS) to work with the National Highway Traffic Safety administration to improve officer Safety during Traffic stops. LESS is made up of 26 Safety experts from government, vehicle manufacturers, Safety advocacy groups, and law enforcement. Previous work to study the crash issue focused primarily on the vehicle and vehicle Safety equipment.
9 LESS was charged with studying the issues from a broader perspective and with determining best prac- tices to avoid crashes during Traffic stops and other road side contacts. This document reports the Subcommittee's work to date. It outlines research and recommenda- tions compiled by three LESS Work Groups: Vehicle, Highway Environment and Design, and Policy and Procedure. This report is not intended to be all encompassing; rather, it represents a position from which further work on this issue may develop. The recommendations and best practices identified within the follow- ing pages are methods law enforcement stakeholders can employ to improve Highway Safety for police officers.
10 However, additional issues may also have a significant impact on officer Safety . For example, public education is not specifically addressed in this report, but in many instances the Safety of officers working roadside rests, literally, in the hands of motorists. Further work is needed to study additional methods available to enhance officer Safety in various traf- fic situations. Significant Safety improvements require a major, coordinated effort by law enforcement organizations, vehicle manufacturers, Safety advocacy groups and other stakeholders. It is hoped this report will bring increased attention to the ongoing necessity to examine police practices in an ever- changing environment.