There is no doubt that police officers have dangerous jobs. Every year, communities across the US mourn the loss of the upstanding men and women who serve in public safety roles. A great number of these deaths directly result from accidents that occur as part of a routine traffic stop.
According to research by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), law enforcement officers are four times more likely to be involved in a traffic collision than the average civilian motorist. In the years between 2000 and 2009, fully 60% of all officer deaths resulted from traffic-related incidents. Of officers who died as a result of a traffic incident, 42% involved the officer being struck on the side of the road. (https://www.policechiefmagazine.org/preventing-traffic-related-line-of-duty-deaths/)
Keeping Those Safe Who Keep Us Safe
With these sobering statistics at the forefront of the minds of police officials, programs have been initiated to help keep officers safe and to make drivers more aware of the risks officers face. Driver education constitutes a big part of this approach; making drivers aware of the need to slow down, mover over, and look for an officer out of the police vehicle if drivers see one to the side of the road. They also endeavored to make both vehicles and officers more visible to drivers using things such as reflective markings and clothing, improved emergency lighting, and safety vests to ensure officers are obvious at a scene. Officer education played a role as well. Officers began receiving training in safer methods for approaching traffic stops, better vehicle positioning, and more effective assessment of scenes.
But law enforcement officials felt that more could be done to help officers responding to traffic incidents. The advent of automated technology that is portable and accessible to officers could help to further reduce the risks. Using barcode scanning, responding officers can scan drivers license information and reduce the amount of time needed to issue a citation, check the validity of the identification, and even scan insurance information. As compared to issuing a paper citation, using the automated system takes only a fourth of the time. Information from the license automatically populates the required fields on the citation form and sent electronically or printed in the officer’s vehicle. Less time stopped at the side of the road equals a reduced risk for the officer.
Data Capture Technology as a Safety Solution
Code offers a number of barcode readers that feature driver license data parsing, omnidirectional reading, and easy integration with all law enforcement software systems for faster, more reliable data capture. For states that have adopted digital IDs, Code’s scanning technology also easily captures and decodes ID information from mobile devices even if the screens are cracked or damaged. Code scanners are lightweight and durable, holding up to the rigors and unexpected challenges from the daily law enforcement ride-along.
You can learn more about our public safety-suitable options here. Let us show you how Code barcode scanning can help improve the safety of your officers.