In partnership with the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University, we are providing an overview of the three years of data collected as part of the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project. 

  1. First, we look at the different traffic stop categories: Motor Vehicle Violations, Equipment Violations, and Investigative Stops.
  2. Then, we examine the breakdown of those categories into reasons why drivers get pulled over. Some reasons may fall under different categories. For example, a stop for registration may be either a motor vehicle violation or an equipment violation. 
  3. Finally, we analyze the various outcomes of the traffic stops.

To read the full report of the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, click here.

Download the Year 3 raw data here.

Key Findings:
  • On average, there are over 580,000 traffic stops that occur statewide, every year.
  • In all 3 years, speeding is the number one reason for stops.
  • Over the past 3 years, the percent of tickets issued has decreased slightly while the rate of verbal warnings has increased.

The total number of stops per year has decreased over the past three years, roughly 7%.
  • 600,742 stops in 2013-2014.

  • 591,510 stops in 2014-2015.

  • 560,595 stops in 2015-2016.

The majority of stops are for motor vehicle violations (about 9 out of 10).

In 2015-2016, speeding was the number one reason within motor vehicle violations.

In 2015-2016, defective lights was the main cause for equipment violations.

In 2015-2016, other was the number one reason for investigative stops.

As previously noted, speeding is the number one reason for stopping drivers. Speeding violations represent more than 25% of all stops in a given year.

In the first two years that these data were collected, ‘Other’ was the second most common reason for pulling drivers over (after speeding). In the third year of data collection, three new categories were added to minimize the number of stops coded as ‘Other’. As shown in the chart above, State Traffic Commission (STC) Violations became a common reason, representing about 8.4% of stops. These infractions result in a lesser offense than a speeding ticket.

Almost half traffic stops result in a ticket (infraction).

Over the past three years, the percentage of tickets issued has decreased slightly (going from 48% to 45%), while the percent of stops resulting in verbal warnings has increased from 27% to 32%. 

To read more about the racial makeup of traffic stops, click here to read our second analysis.