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§31-21.1-4  Traffic Stop Study. –

Published: 2015

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Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-21.1

Traffic Stops Statistics

SECTION 31-21.1-4

   § 31-21.1-4  Traffic stop study. –

(a) The attorney general is authorized to and shall conduct a study of routine

traffic stops by the Rhode Island state police and each municipal police

department. The study shall include the collection and analysis of the data

received from the police department pursuant to this section, which shall

include the following information for each traffic stop conducted by the police:

   (1) The date, time and general location of the traffic stop;

   (2) The race or ethnicity, gender, and approximate age of the

driver stopped; provided that the identification of these characteristics shall

be based on the observation and perception of the police officer making the

stop and the information shall not be requested of the person stopped;

   (3) The reason for the stop;

   (4) Whether a search was instituted as a result of the stop;

   (5) The scope of any search conducted;

   (6) Whether the search was conducted pursuant to consent,

probable cause, or reasonable suspicion to suspect a crime;

   (7) Whether any contraband, including money, was seized in

the course of the search, and if so, the nature of the contraband;

   (8) Whether any warning or citation was issued as a result of

the stop;

   (9) Whether an arrest was made as a result of either the stop

or the search;

   (10) The approximate duration of the stop; and

   (11) Whether the vehicle is registered in Rhode Island or out

of the state.

   (b) Not later than ninety (90) days after July 13, 2000, the

attorney general, with the advice of the committee, shall develop a form, in

both printed and electronic format, to be used by each police officer when

making a traffic stop to record the data required under this chapter.

   (c) Beginning January 15, 2001, and monthly thereafter, each

municipal police department and the Rhode Island state police shall transmit to

the attorney general a report containing:

   (1) All of the forms collected to date of motorists who were


   (2) Any complaints filed by motorists who believed they were

the subject of racial profiling, provided that no information revealing the

identity of the complainant, witnesses or the law enforcement officer involved

in the traffic stop shall be used, transmitted or disclosed in violation of the

provisions of Chapter 28.6 of Title 42, the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of

Rights; and

   (3) Any other information the police department or Rhode

Island state police deem appropriate.

   (d) The study authorized under this chapter shall include a

multi-variate analysis of the collected data in accordance with general

statistical standards. The attorney general shall collect data for a period of

not less than twenty-four (24) months and report its findings and conclusions

to the governor and the general assembly not later than thirty (30) months

after the commencement of the collection of data under this chapter. The

report, findings and conclusions submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be

deemed a public record.

   (e) In addition, the attorney general, with the advice of the

committee, shall prepare on a quarterly basis a summary report of the monthly

data provided by each police department and the state police for that quarterly

period. The report shall be a public record. The summary report shall include a

monthly breakdown by race for each police department of the number of traffic

stops made and of searches conducted, and any other information deemed

appropriate by the attorney general with the advice of the committee. The

report shall be released not more than ninety (90) days after the end of each

quarterly period. No information revealing the identity of any individual shall

be contained in the report.

   (f) Upon July 13, 2000, the attorney general with the advice

of the committee shall procure the services of an organization, company, person

or other entity with sufficient expertise in the field of statistics to assist

with the implementation of this chapter. The organization, company, person or

other entity so retained shall assist the attorney general and the committee

with the design of the methodology for gathering statistics pursuant to this

chapter, monitor compliance with the act throughout the study, and conduct a

statistical analysis at the conclusion of the study to determine the extent to

which racial profiling exists within the state.

   (g) Appropriate funding shall be made available to implement

the provisions of this chapter.

   (h) The department of attorney general shall be exempt from

the provisions of chapter 2 of title 37 in connection with its procurement of

equipment and services necessary to the implementation of this chapter.

History of Section.

(P.L. 2000, ch. 251, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 230, § 2; P.L. 2003, ch.

240, § 2.)