Latest Justice Analysis Review report analyzes purposes, actions behind traffic stops Governor's Crime Commission Releases Justice Analysis Review - Part 2


RALEIGH -- The North Carolina Criminal Justice Analysis Center has released its latest study of statewide trends regarding “who” and “why” individuals are involved in traffic stops in its December 2020 issue of the Justice Analysis Review. This second report is part of the North Carolina Traffic Stop Reporting Program Series, first issued in July 2020.  

While Part 1 focused on “who” was stopped, Part 2 in the series focused on “why” individuals were stopped, through a closer study of traffic stops in the year 2019. Two criteria were evaluated in this latest report: 1) the purpose of the stop, and 2) the action taken by law enforcement.

This second study determined that while the 74% of the total traffic stops in 2019 for either speed limit violations or vehicle regulatory and equipment violations was higher than the 10-year-average of 69% (Part 1), the overall total number of traffic stops decreased by 13%, and a 28% reduction was seen in the number of citations written. Additionally, there was an increase in the use of non-punitive actions such as verbal warnings (up 35%) and written warnings (up 12%).

“The Criminal Justice Analysis Center continues to conduct relevant, non-partisan research and analysis to inform and support criminal justice decision-making,” stated Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks. “The goal of this research is to discern trends, generate meaningful dialog and positively affect police interactions with the public.”

Note for editors and interested parties: The foundational data used by the Governor’s Crime Commission - CJAC to research and generate these analysis reports, is housed at the State Bureau of Investigation and can be provided upon request via this link.


  • In 2018, DPS Secretary Hooks re-established what was previously known as the Statistical Analysis Center, a data clearinghouse within the Governor’s Crime Commission. 
  • The unit, which is now known as the Criminal Justice Analysis Center works to collect, analyze and interpret data to help inform criminal justice policy.
  • The Justice Analysis Review is a brief topic paper on a criminal justice issue in North Carolina. It is produced by the CJAC within GCC.  
  • This is the second in the series of JARs analyzing traffic stop data.




The Governor’s Crime Commission members make recommendations to the governor and the secretary of the Department of Public Safety on federal grants for the state's criminal justice system, crime victims' services and juvenile justice. Federal block grants are awarded each year to government, education and social service agencies to start new and innovative programs and to continue efforts to reduce crime.

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