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SAFE Driving: The Role of the Chief

NCJ Number
THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 77 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2010 Pages: 38-41
Bryon G. Gustafson; Paul A. Cappitelli
Date Published
March 2010
4 pages
This article reviews the role of the police chief in promoting safe driving among patrol officers and the prevention of officer fatalities and injuries due to traffic-related incidents.
Nationally, 306 officers lost their lives in traffic-related incidents between 2004 and 2008. These 306 officer fatalities were estimated to have cost the Federal, State, and local governments nearly $1 billion. Safe driving for patrol officers is, ultimately, a local responsibility with the chiefs of police having the task of maintaining a safe working environment for officers. Chiefs have many opportunities to improve safe driving in their agencies. Providing comprehensive skill and policy training, prioritizing safety over response time, carefully managing fatigue and distraction, and consistently communicating and demonstrating expectations from the chief down through management and supervision gives officers the framework they need to perform their best. A law enforcement culture oriented in safe driving and accountability saves lives and reduces costs. 9 notes


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