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A highway patrol is either a police unit created primarily for the purpose of overseeing and enforcing traffic safety compliance on roads and highways, or a detail within an existing local or regional police agency that is primarily concerned with such duties. They are also referred to in many countries as traffic police, although in other countries this term is more commonly used to refer to foot officers on point duty who control traffic at junctions.
Duties of highway patrols or traffic police may include the following:
In Argentina, traffic policing is the responsibility of the Argentine National Gendarmerie.
In Australia, traffic policing is the responsibility of the state police forces. Each force has its own traffic sections, often a local section in each area and a statewide section.
In Belgium, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Wegpolitie - Police de la Route (WPR) a section of the Federal Police (former Gendarmerie).
In Brazil, traffic policing is the responsibility of state and federal police forces accordingly to the highway administration status. State administered highways (usually shorter, within state borders, two-way, single lane, lower traffic) are policed by a branch of the Military Police forces, called State Highway Military Police. At the same time Federal highways and roads (longer, crossing state borders, some double lane and high-traffic) are the responsibility of the Federal Highway Police.
In Canada, traffic policing on highways is the sole responsibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, except for the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick,
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial police of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary serves major metropolitan areas.,and highway policing is the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In British Columbia, provincial RCMP Traffic Services rebranded themselves as British Columbia Highway Patrol. Their vehicles have their own liveries without the RCMP logo but unlike other Highway Patrol agencies they are not a separate agency instead still part of the RCMP. New Brunswick Department of Public Safety officers assist Provincial RCMP with traffic enforcement as RCMP dismantled all of its traffic units except for one in the province. At 2018 Saskatchewan gave additional authorities to their commercial vehicle enforcement agency under provincial response team in relation to criminal code and traffic enforcement and rebranded them as Saskatchewan Highway Patrol to reflect their new powers. Quebec operates the Contrôle routier Québec, who enforce traffic laws in relation heavy vehicles. Northwest Territories have their own Highway Patrol agency called Northwest Territories Highway Patrol for commercial vehicle enforcement.
In Colombia, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Colombian National Police, under the responsibility of the Highway Police corps.
In Croatia, traffic police special department is the national motorway patrol, patrols the motorways in Croatia. Missions include the prevention and detection of driving offences. The car fleet is BMW 330d, Mercedes-Benz C 320 CDI, Škoda Superb, VW Passat, VW Touareg, Audi A4, Honda Accord, Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra and Porsche Carrera 997.
In the Czech Republic, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Policie CR.
In Denmark, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Danish National Police.
In the Finland, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Finnish National Police.
In France, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of dedicated units of the Gendarmerie Nationale, the Escadron départementaux de sécurité routière (EDSR) and the CRS autoroutières of the National Police (France).
In Germany, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Autobahnpolizei section of the Landespolizei.
In, Hungary, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Hungarian National Police (Rendőrség).
In India, traffic policing on highways are carried out by the traffic police department of the state police forces.
In Indonesia, traffic policing is the responsibility of the Indonesian National Police's Traffic Corps. The Indonesian National Police Traffic Corps (Korps Lalu Lintas Kepolisian Negara Republik Indonesia abbreviated "Korlantas Polri") oversees several units which regard to traffic policing including the highway patrol unit. It conducts activities such as traffic: law enforcement, management, control, accident handling and prevention, education, escort, and patrol in the roads of the country. The issuing of a driver's license is also conducted by this unit.
The Garda Traffic Corps, a specialised unit of the Garda Síochána (the national police force for the Republic of Ireland) is responsible for patrolling the countries motorways and other national routes. They patrol using motorbikes, off-road/4X4s, and a mixture of marked and unmarked high-powered saloon cars.
In Italy, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Polizia Stradale section of the civilian Polizia di Stato and the Gendarmery force of the Carabinieri.
In Japan, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Expressway Traffic Police Units ( 高速道路交通警察隊 , Kōsoku-dōro kōtsu-keisatsu-tai), operational units of Traffic department of each Prefectural police departments.
In Luxembourg, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Grand Ducal Police, the country's national police force, under the responsibility of the Road Police Unit (UPR - Unité de la police de la route / Eenheet vun der Verkéierspolice / Verkehrspolizeieinheit).This task was previously enforced by the defunct Luxembourgish National Grand Ducal Gendarmerie.
In Malaysia, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility by Royal Malaysia Police. JPJ also charged with the responsibility of undertaking registration and licensing of drivers and all motor vehicles and trailers in Malaysia.
In Mexico, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Mexican National Guard.
Despite the non-existence of motorways due to the country's small size, the Monegasque Public Security, the country's small national police force, is in charge of traffic matters.
In the Netherlands, policing on the highways falls under the purview of the Dienst Verkeerspolitie (transportation police), which is one of the Landelijke Eenheid (national police services, as opposed to the regional forces). Some regions have their own traffic police organisatie highway patrol, cities as Amsterdam, Den Haag and Rotterdam.
In New Zealand the Highway Patrol operates almost exclusively on state highways and is a division of New Zealand Police.Formerly traffic law enforcement was the responsibility of the Traffic Safety Service of the Ministry of Transport. The MOT had no law enforcement authority beyond traffic. The MOT merged with the Police in 1992 and the Highway Patrol was re-established as its own unit in 2001.
In Norway, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of National Mobile Police Service of the Norwegian Police Service
In Pakistan, traffic policing on National Highways And Motorways is the responsibility of National Highways & Motorway Police .
In the Philippines, traffic policing on national highways and motorways is the responsibility of the Highway Patrol Group of the Philippine National Police . The Highway Patrol Group are responsible for intelligence, promulgating anti-carnapping campaigns and other road enforcements. In regards to traffic violations, the Land Transportation Office Law Enforcement Service are responsible for enforcing traffic rules and regulations both for public utility and private vehicles on national highways.
Furthermore, the Metro Manila Development Authority are responsible for policing traffic rules around Metro Manila highways, particularly on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.
In, Poland, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Policja, the National Police Force.
In Portugal, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Republican National Guard.
In Russia, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of GIBDD section of the Politsiya and the Public Security Service of the MVD.
In Spain, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the Civil Guard (the country’s Gendarmery force), except in the autonomous communities with transferred competences on traffic policing (Catalonia and the Basque Country), where autonomous police forces (Mossos d'Esquadra and Ertzaintza, respectively) are responsibly for this area. As of 2020, traffic policing in Navarra has been fully transferred to the local autonomous police force, the Policía Foral de Navarra.
In Sri Lanka, traffic policing is the responsibility of the Traffic Police.
In Sweden, traffic policing is the responsibility of the Swedish Police Authority. All Swedish police officers have the authority to stop drivers but it is only the police officers within the Swedish Traffic Police division who have the authority to clamp vehicles etc.
In Taiwan, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the National Police Agency.
In Turkey, traffic policing and highway traffic policing are an extra unit at General Directorate of Security. Traffic Police officers in Turkey, controls seat belts, plates, driving licences and alcohols etc. Highway Traffic Police in Turkey works in Highways like the other countries. In Turkey, every police car has a tablet and a GPS device.
In the United Kingdom, traffic policing on highways is the responsibility of the road policing unit of the territorial police force.
Many state police agencies in the United States take the name of "highway patrol" rather than "state police". State police agencies may fulfil the role of highway patrol, and vice versa. For instance, the Arizona Highway Patrol is actually a state police agency, meaning that it is a police body having statewide authority to conduct law enforcement activities and criminal investigations. In addition to its highway patrol duties, it performs functions outside the normal purview of the city police or the county sheriff, such as enforcing traffic laws on state highways and interstate expressways, overseeing the security of the state capitol complex and other state buildings, protecting the governor, providing technological and scientific support services, and helping to coordinate multi-jurisdictional task force activity in serious or complex cases. The California Highway Patrol serves as bailiffs and courtroom deputies for certain state courts, such as the appellate courts and the California Supreme Court building in San Francisco. The state traffic enforcement agency retained the name "California Highway Patrol" after the merger of the smaller California State Police with the larger — and better-known — CHP and the combination of their functions into one agency.
Some highway patrol organizations, such as the Florida Highway Patrol and North Carolina State Highway Patrol, are specifically charged with the enforcement of traffic laws, and while able to enforce other laws, they are not an official "state police" agency, yet retain their statewide jurisdictionin the same vein as the California Highway Patrol or the New Jersey State Police. States like Texas have a bona fide and appropriately named state police department such as the Texas Department of Public Safety, of which only one arm is a highway patrol division. In addition, the police departments of Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York have highway patrol bureaus. These units have special uniforms for their highway duty- service caps with the wire grommet removed, giving the classic "crusher" look, leather jackets, riding breeches, riding boots, Sam Browne-style belts and lanyards for their service pistols. A privately compiled list of Highway Patrol organizations and similar state police agencies is available on the web. The Iowa State Patrol maintains a list of phone numbers and cell phone dialing codes for non-emergency calls to the dispatchers of the Highway Patrol organizations in all 50 states. These numbers are useful for motorists who want to report aggressive driving, driving under the influence, or other dangerous but not life-threatening situations that do not require a 9-1-1 call.
Highway patrol and state police officers are often referred to as "State Trooper". Historically, a troop was a small cavalry unit. Many state police forces originated as mounted paramilitary forces who were stationed in barracks like soldiers, hence the term "trooper." A state trooper goes by the title "trooper", as in "Trooper John Smith". Some agencies, particularly on the east coast, refer to their state police offices as "barracks," although troopers generally do not reside there. Other state police forces, particularly highway patrols as in California, have always modeled themselves after police officers who simply commute to work like ordinary civilians. Like police officers, they use the title "officer." Other states use the term "Patrolmen" in reference to members of the State Police or Highway Patrol.
Many states and their Departments of Transportation have organized government-run freeway service patrols, Highway Assistance Patrols, or Highway Safety Patrols, to assist with highway emergencies as needed. While not law enforcement personnel, these persons provide free service to motorists in distress, and secure lanes of traffic, provide emergency medical assistance, request tow trucks for vehicles in inconvenient or dangerous locations, remove debris from the roadway after a crash, and resolve minor disabled vehicle problems, such as flat tires, jumpstarts, or pushing a disabled vehicle out of travel lanes. Many of these patrols work directly with the State Police and Highway Operations departments of their state, and respond to assistance when a citizen calls 911 for minor roadside assistance duties.[ citation needed ]
State police,provincial police, or regional police are a type of sub-national territorial police force found in nations organized as federations, typically in North America, South Asia, and Oceania. These forces typically have jurisdiction over the relevant sub-national jurisdiction, and may cooperate in law enforcement activities with municipal or national police where either exist.
The Alaska State Troopers, officially the Division of Alaska State Troopers (AST), is the state police agency of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is a division of the Alaska Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Alaska State Troopers is a full-service law enforcement agency which handles both traffic and criminal law enforcement. The Alaska State Troopers is also involved in apprehending fugitives as part of the Alaska Fugitive Task Force, an inter-agency collaborative of Alaska police departments that cooperates with police agencies throughout the United States and less commonly with Interpol in apprehending wanted men and women. Unlike many lower-48 states, Alaska troopers are both state troopers and game/wildlife enforcement officers.
The Vermont State Police (VSP) is the state police agency for the US state of Vermont. The force has jurisdiction throughout the entire state. The Vermont Public Safety Commission directs policy and selects the commander. The commander is Colonel Matthew Birmingham. The Vermont Public Safety Commissioner is Thomas Anderson. There are 332 sworn state troopers.
The Michigan State Police (MSP) is the state police agency for the U.S. state of Michigan. The MSP is a full-service law enforcement agency, with its sworn members having full police powers statewide.
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) is the state police agency for the U.S. state of Washington. Organized as the Washington State Highway Patrol in 1921, it was renamed and reconstituted in 1933. The agency is charged with the protection of the Governor of Washington and the grounds of the Washington State Capitol; security aboard the vessels and terminals of the Washington State Ferries; law enforcement on interstate and state highways in Washington; and providing specialized support to local law enforcement including laboratory forensic services, mobile field forces during periods of civil unrest or disaster, and tactical teams. The State Fire Marshal's Office, responsible for operation of the Washington State Fire Training Academy and for certain aspects of civil defense mobilization, is a component office of the Washington State Patrol, and the State Patrol is the managing agency of the Washington Fusion Center, which coordinates anti-terrorist and anti-organized crime activities within Washington.
The Wisconsin State Patrol is the highway patrol for the state of Wisconsin and is a division of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The Wisconsin State Patrol enforces traffic and criminal laws, oversees the motor carrier safety and weight facilities (SWEFs), inspects and regulates motor carriers, school buses and ambulances, and assists local law enforcement agencies with traffic safety, civil disturbances and disasters.
The Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) is the highway patrol agency for the U.S. state of Kansas. While the patrol's primary focus is maintaining the safety of State, Federal and Interstate highways, it also is charged with providing support for rural and small municipal police departments when tactical, aerial or other specialized services are needed. The Kansas Highway Patrol has statewide jurisdiction, and frequently assists other agencies with emergency calls for service ranging from accidents to fights in progress.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is a division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. It is Florida's highway patrol and is the primary law enforcement agency charged with investigating traffic crashes and criminal laws on the state’s highways.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is the highway patrol agency for South Carolina, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state except for federal or military installations. The Highway Patrol was created in 1930 and is an organization with a rank structure similar to the armed forces. The mission of the South Carolina Highway Patrol includes enforcing the rules and regulations in order to ensure road way safety and reducing crime as outlined by South Carolina law. The Highway Patrol is the largest division of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and its headquarters is located in Blythewood. This department also includes the South Carolina State Transport Police Division, and the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services.
The Idaho State Police (ISP) is the statewide law enforcement agency for the State of Idaho. It began as the Bureau of Constabulary, created on May 18, 1919, under the new Department of Law Enforcement, to detect and investigate crime, "order abatement of public nuisances and to enforce such orders by appropriate court action, to suppress riots, prevent wrongs to children and animals that are inhibited by law." The state constabulary was also charged with the organization of various state, county and municipal peace officers. The bureau was dissolved by the state legislature in 1923.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) is a major state law enforcement agency of the government of Oklahoma. A division of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, the OHP has traffic enforcement jurisdiction throughout the state. OHP was legislatively created on July 1, 1937, due to the growing problem of motor vehicle collisions, the expansion of highway systems, and the increase in criminal activities.
The Colorado State Patrol(CSP), based in Lakewood, Colorado, is a division of the Colorado Department of Public Safety, and is one of the official state police agencies of Colorado, along with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and several smaller state agencies. The CSP primarily enforces traffic laws on interstates and state highways, guards the state capitol and the Governor of Colorado.
The Texas Highway Patrol is a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety and is the largest state-level law enforcement agency in the U.S. state of Texas. The patrol's primary duties are enforcement of state traffic laws and commercial vehicle regulation, but it is a fully empowered police agency with authority to enforce criminal law anywhere in the state. Highway patrol troopers are also responsible for patrolling the state Capitol Complex in Austin and providing security to the governor. The current Chief is Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Mathis.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) is the highway patrol agency for North Carolina which has no per-se "state police" agency. The Patrol has jurisdiction anywhere in the state except for federal or military installations. The Highway Patrol was created in 1929 and is a paramilitary organization with a rank structure similar to the armed forces. NCSHP personnel at times conduct formations, inspections, honor guard activities and drill similar to the armed forces drill and ceremonies. Troopers have a reputation in North Carolina for immaculate uniform and grooming standards. The primary mission of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is to ensure safe and efficient transportation on the streets or highways, reduce crime, protect against terrorism, and respond to natural and man-made disasters.
The Roads Policing Unit (RPU) is the motorway and trunk-road police unit of a British police force.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and has the primary responsibility of traffic enforcement in the state of Ohio.
Airport police units are a security police agency assigned to perform law enforcement functions at airports. They provide a wide range of law enforcement duties and responsibilities including patrol, investigation, traffic flow management, and control and response to airport emergencies. Airport police provide enhanced safety to airport employees, and to passengers. Officers can be found at security gates, throughout the terminal area, and around the airport’s perimeter.
In many countries, particularly those with a federal system of government, there may be several law enforcement agencies, police or police-like organizations, each serving different levels of government and enforcing different subsets of the applicable law.
In the United States, the state police is a police body unique to each U.S. state, having statewide authority to conduct law enforcement activities and criminal investigations. In general, state police officers, known as state troopers, perform functions that do not fall within the jurisdiction of the county sheriff, such as enforcing traffic laws on state highways and interstate expressways, overseeing the security of the state capitol complex, protecting the governor, training new officers for local police forces too small to operate an academy and providing technological and scientific services. They support local police and help to coordinate multi-jurisdictional task force activity in serious or complicated cases in those states that grant full police powers statewide.