The enforcement of speed limits to improve public safety constitutes one of the most common activities that the police undertake. Yet, fundamental questions exist about whether traditional, officer-initiated enforcement actually deters speeding and whether it does so in a cost-efficient manner. Questions exist, too, about unintended harms associated with traditional enforcement practices, such as racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic class disparities; mistrust of the police; and, more generally, delegitimization of the law and institutions that implement it. This article draws on prior scholarship to critique traditional speed limit enforcement practices and to argue for approaches that may be more effective, minimize unintended harms, and incur fewer costs.
- speed limits
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