Who gets off with a warning after a traffic stop in Connecticut?

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Police are more likely to give a warning to older drivers than younger ones at traffic stops and women have a slight edge in getting a verbal or written warning over men.

For our ongoing project analyzing traffic stop data, we wanted to take a look at the available limited data on warnings because it’s so rare.

Note: An earlier version of this story based the analysis on an incomplete column in the dataset.

The data shows police were more lenient on drivers who were pulled over for defective lights, display of plates, and window tint.

Police were most harsh on drivers pulled over for a suspended license. Only 9 percent of those pulled over got away with a warning.

Driving without a license, without wearing a seatbelt or while using a cell phone also lead to many more tickets than warnings. Registration violations also prompt a high proportion of tickets to warnings.

Eastern Connecticut State University gives out the most warnings of any police department in Connecticut. The police in the towns of Putnam and Middlebury also issue the most written and verbal warnings with 93 percent of all stops.

Danbury, Meriden, and Hartford are not nearly as forgiving. More than 80 percent of the drivers pulled over by police in those cities end with tickets.

The likelihood of getting a ticket or a warning arcs depending on the driver’s age.

Drivers in their late 20s are the most likely to get a ticket— about 60 percent of stops end with a ticket.

However, the older the driver is, the higher percent of warnings. Until drivers reach 90 when the ratio wavers considerably because there are fewer in the sample size.

Men receive the bulk of all tickets, getting in the high-50 percent to mid-60 percent range.

There’s a noticeable anomaly between ages 18 and 21 when women get even fewer tickets compared to men.

Men also get the majority of warnings when stopped by police.

But compare women’s rate of tickets to rate of warnings. Women consistently get a few percent points more warnings (compared to men) than they do for tickets.

For example, for 23-year-olds, 35.6 percent of those who get tickets are women. Compare that to 23-year-olds that get pulled over who end up with warnings? Women are 38 percent of that total.

How does percent of traffic tickets and warnings differ by race?

Hispanics have the highest ticket-to-warning ratio. Only 36 percent of Hispanic drivers stopped by police got let go with a warning compared to 46 percent of White and Asian drivers.

About 58 percent of Black drivers got a ticket.

What do you think?

  • zzz05

    I think the police are biased towards ticketing 98 year olds.