Traffic police

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Azerbaijani traffic police car BMW 3 series in Baku Azerbaijani traffic police car in Baku.jpg
Azerbaijani traffic police car BMW 3 series in Baku
A 2015 Ford Tourneo Courier police car of General Directorate of Security, Turkey FordTurkishPoliceCar.jpg
A 2015 Ford Tourneo Courier police car of General Directorate of Security, Turkey
Pateros Traffic Enforcer in Philippines 3402Makati Pateros Bridge Welcome Creek Metro Manila 13.jpg
Pateros Traffic Enforcer in Philippines
A Minneapolis Police Department Traffic Officer directing traffic in downtown Minneapolis. United States 090610-Minneapolis-Traffic-Officer-2.jpg
A Minneapolis Police Department Traffic Officer directing traffic in downtown Minneapolis. United States
Officers of the Bangalore City Traffic Police in the standard white uniform seen across India Car Pooling Campaign (Promotion) 1.jpg
Officers of the Bangalore City Traffic Police in the standard white uniform seen across India
Indonesian traffic police officers Jakarta Indonesia Police-officers-01.jpg
Indonesian traffic police officers

Traffic police or traffic officers, [1] often referred to colloquially as traffic cops or traffic enforcers, are police officers who direct traffic or serve in a traffic or roads policing unit enforcing rules of the road. Traffic police include officers who patrol major roads and also police who address traffic infractions on other roads. It has been noted that:


...traffic police, who are regarded as peripheral to most police forces, participate in both authoritative intervention and symbolic justice. Perhaps alone of all the assignments, traffic police are full-service police. They are different from the rest, however, because their work is limited to a particular venue — namely, public thoroughfares — and to particular people — namely, those who operate motor vehicles. But in terms of work, traffic police are detectives as well as patrol officers. [2]

Typical traffic enforcement tools in the United States Police traffic enforcement equipment.jpg
Typical traffic enforcement tools in the United States


Traffic police have existed in some form for nearly three centuries:

Road traffic began to increase in volume and speed during the eighteenth century, and the above mix of practices led to a clear need for some legal rule-making. In response, in 1722 the lord mayor of London appointed three men to ensure that traffic kept to the left and did not stop on London Bridge. They were possibly the world's first traffic police. [3]

Automatic traffic police

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo five automatic traffic police are in operation. [4] The large aluminium figures are able to rotate at the waist, and contain closed circuit television cameras to allow them to record offenders, for later apprehension or imposition of fines. The system runs on solar power, from panels on the roof of the structure within which the robot stands. The robot controls the traffic with red and green lights in its hands, and the use of articulated arms. The robots can also speak to pedestrians and help them safely cross the road. [5]

The system is designed and built by a women's engineering co-operative in DRC. Another five robots have been bought for Katanga province, and a further thirty for motorway use have been proposed.

Examples of traffic police departments

Traffic officers who are not sworn police officers

Traffic policing as a model

In 1998 Stephen Chance and Stephen Dale proposed traffic policing as a model to deal with paperwork. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

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California Highway Patrol Law enforcement agency in California, USA

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Parking enforcement officer

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Philippine National Police National police of the Philippines

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Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

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South Carolina Highway Patrol

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.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

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.

Ohio State Highway Patrol

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California State University police departments

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Organization of the New York City Police Department

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Manila Police District

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Katipunan Avenue

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Thérèse Kirongozi Congolese engineer (born 1973)

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Traffic Safety Service

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2021 PNP–PDEA shootout

On February 24, 2021, a botched buy-bust operation resulted in a shootout between units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. The incident resulted in the deaths of two police officers, a PDEA agent and an informant. Both agencies claimed that they had been conducting a legitimate anti-drug operation.


  1. United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances, Traffic Laws Annotated 1979 (1981), p. 17.
  2. David H. Bayley, Police for the Future (1996), p. 34.
  3. M. G. Lay, Ways of the World: A History of the World's Roads and of the Vehicles That Used Them (1992), p. 199.
  4. "Robocops being used as traffic police in Democratic Republic of Congo". Guardian. 5 March 2015.
  5. "Robot traffic wardens patrol Democratic Republic of Congo". Irish Examiner. 6 March 2015.
  6. Stephen Chance, Stephen Dale (1998). Getting to grips with paperwork: a model drawn from traffic policing. Police Research Series. Issue 25. Great Britain: Home Office Police Research Group. ISBN   9781840820485.