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Driving Tickets: Influencing Factors

Assume that you are working in traffic patrol and you have just pulled over a driver for driving at a speed of 65 miles per hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone. As per your department's policy, you have the discretion to ticket the driver or give him or her a warning. Discuss, with a rationale, whether any of the following factors would affect your decision to ticket or warn the driver:

-Demeanor of the driver (polite versus disrespectful)
-Age of the driver (a young teenager versus an older driver)
-Gender of the driver (a woman with dependent children versus a single man)
-Economic status of the driver (poor versus wealthy)

Solution Preview

Each traffic stop and law enforcement scenario has to be taken into consideration on an individual basis. We would not want to see judgments being passed on who gets a ticket and who doesn't due to financial circumstances. If police started to issue tickets to only those that were wealthy or not in any financial trouble, it would create an automatic discrimination against wealthy vs. poor. We have the same with the age of the driver. If we ticket only those that are young in order to "teach them a lesson," we create discrimination.

With that being said ...

Yes, we do take those factors into consideration in law enforcement even though it oftentimes skews the judgment of the police officer. The demeanor of the driver is a definite factor because it can change the entire tone of a traffic stop. If the driver is angry, disrespectful, or hostile, it has the potential of quickly escalating into someone that's disorderly. There is also a significant issue with the age of ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses a rationale used on a traffic stop for speeding, including the factors as described including age, demeanor, gender, and the economic status of the driver. A comprehensive discussion is provided. Includes 1 reference.