Speeding in America: A Critique of, and Alternatives to, Officer-Initiated Enforcement

Daniel P. Mears, Andrea M. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • officers
  • safety
  • speed limits
  • speeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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