Police Traffic Services Program
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“Traffic Safety is Public Safety”
What is the Police Traffic Services Program?
The Police Traffic Services (PTS) program is developed and implemented based on the evaluation of highway safety problem identification and data trends within the US Virgin Islands for impaired and distracted driving, occupant protection and speed enforcement. PTS is developed through evaluation of data, trends, population, and high-risk areas for crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The program is guided by data and problem identification and is managed and monitored for effectiveness. The key objective of PTS is to promote highway safety compliance, education, awareness, and reduction in fatalities, injuries, crashes, and traffic violations in high-risk areas through data-driven high visibility enforcement in accordance with the Highway Safety Plan.
What is a Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL)?
The Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) is responsible for managing and coordinating the Police Traffic Services Program and will serve as a vital link and conduit between the Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety (VIOHS), the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), and the law enforcement community. In addition, the LEL will help to promote and enhance local and national highway safety programs, initiatives, and campaigns through planning, organizing, networking, promoting, coordinating, implementing, reporting, and evaluating law enforcement agencies’ roles in traffic safety projects, activities, and achievements within the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) and other agencies.
High Visibility Enforcement
High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) is a universal traffic safety approach designed to create deterrence and change unlawful traffic behaviors. HVE combines highly visible and proactive law enforcement targeting a specific traffic safety issue. Law enforcement efforts are combined with visibility elements and a publicity strategy to educate the public and promote voluntary compliance with the law.
Checkpoints, saturation patrols and other HVE strategies should include increased publicity and warnings to the public. Although forewarning the public might seem counterproductive to apprehending violators, it increases the deterrent effect. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA))
Enforcement efforts focus on improving traffic safety by reducing unsafe behaviors such as speeding, failure to use seatbelts, distracted driving, and effective implementation of enforcement strategies related to impaired driving, occupant protection, pedestrian, and bicycle safety. Through sustained enforcement, speed enforcement, random traffic enforcement, and planned enforcement initiatives, the efforts to enforce traffic laws throughout the territory will increase the number of safety impacts and decrease fatalities.
What is Sustained Enforcement?
This educational message component may include general enforcement message (e.g., VI law requires you to buckle up) and may inform motorists of consequences to unlawful traffic behavior (such as the cost of citations/arrest/conviction).
What is Speed Enforcement?
Speeding is a type of aggressive driving behavior, wherein several factors contribute: traffic, running late, anonymity, and disregard for others and the law. Data reflect that over 20% of all fatalities resulted from speeding-related crashes, and 10% of all fatalities were a result of aggressive driving. Local law enforcement efforts to address speeding in school zones, highways, main roads, and back roads include active foot patrol, bike patrol, and active duty.
What are Planned Enforcement Initiatives?
Each program under the VIOHS dedicates enforcement initiatives to enforce VI traffic laws and reduce crashes and fatalities. These initiatives are planned and in specified high-trafficked locations that target speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and seat belt use.
According to the eighth edition of A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for Highway Safety Offices, a combination of evidence-based enforcement and communications planning provides opportunities for reducing traffic crashes. The enforcement of traffic laws to include such violations as speed limit infractions will serve to stabilize and reduce the increasing number of crashes and fatalities due to speed (VIOHS FY2022 HSP).
Occupant Protection and Impaired Driving are two of VIOHS programs whose enforcement initiatives are monitored by the Law Enforcement Liaison. These programs have educational and outreach aspects that engage the community with information about the safety and dangers of seatbelt use, car seat safety, and impaired driving.
As of August of Fiscal Year 2021 the Territory experienced 2,096 motor vehicle crashes/collisions, of which 40 were related to driving under the influence; 40 for exceeding lawful speed; and 19 for running a red light. In Fiscal Year 2020 the Territory experienced 3,652 motor vehicle crashes/collisions, of which 44 were related to driving under the influence; 39 for exceeding lawful speed; and 31 for running a red light. Within the 5-Year average (2016 – 2020), speeding related crashes has increased to 5.8%; driving under the influence has decreased by 34%; and running red lights decreased by 41%.
Professional Organizations and Affiliations
National Highway Traffic Safety Association
US Department of Transportation
The National Law Enforcement Liaison Program (NLELP)
USVI Walkability Institute (USVIWI)
Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS) integrates location-based crime and traffic crash data to determine the most effective methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources.
The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) is committed to the safety and well being of its residents. The Virgin Islands Police Department is a prepared organization dedicated to providing a safe environment and premier police services. VIPD is the sole enforcement entity for VIOHS where they believe in the core values of Professionalism, Accountability, Communication, Respect, and Integrity.