NHTSA Final Report Abstract: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol is known to greatly increase the risk of a traffic crash. Historically, higher proportions of fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol use than for any other vehicle type—27% for motorcycles compared to 21% for passenger cars in 2017. Research has shown that high visibility enforcement (HVE) of impaired driving, particularly using checkpoints, can be effective in reducing impaired driving. Specifically targeting motorcyclists with motorcycle-only checkpoints or sobriety patrols, however, is both politically unacceptable and can be illegal under some circumstances.
This report describes two implementations of HVE, in Jacksonville, FL, and Indianapolis, IN, which used geographic information system (GIS) technology and targeted digital advertising to focus HVE on motorcyclists without conducting motorcycle-only checkpoints or patrols. It describes the GIS, messaging, and enforcement methods used to advertise and operate general (all-vehicle) checkpoints and sobriety patrols as part of these HVE operations.
Crash analyses were conducted for both sites and showed significant reductions in alcohol-involved motorcycle and passenger car crashes in the Jacksonville area during the intervention but also showed reductions, although to a lesser extent, in alcohol-involved motorcycle crashes in a set of 12 comparison counties. The report provides suggestions for successful future implementations of impaired-riding HVE.