Koper Curve Principle for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Traffic Enforcement


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National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence


The Koper curve principle postulates that crime deterrence can be improved with an optimal dosage of police presence at hot spot locations. With the goal of better understanding how to reduce commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, a literature review was conducted to explore whether the Koper Curve principle has ever been applied to efforts aimed at reducing CMV crashes, and if so, how it was applied. In conducting the literature review, several related domains (deterrence, evidence-based policing, and high-visibility enforcement) were also considered as they apply to the use of the Koper Curve for CMV crash reduction. The literature related to the Koper Curve focused primarily on crime deterrence (e.g., robbery), not crash reduction. The literature review revealed one ongoing study that is using the Koper Curve principle toward the goal of reducing CMV crashes on specific interstate corridors (Kentucky Research Center, 2023). Two examples, from Nashville, Tennessee, and São Paulo, Brazil, showed the Koper Curve being applied to crash reduction more generally (not specific to CMVs), which may inform how the Koper Curve could be used to reduce CMV crashes. The literature provided a few best practices that may be helpful to practitioners seeking to reduce crashes in high-risk corridors: (1) use data to target behaviors leading to crashes; (2) use data to identify hot spots where crashes are occurring; (3) provide instruction to officers on how to conduct high-visibility enforcement; and (4) evaluate the enforcement effort.



transportation safety, commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), Koper Curve, crash mitigation, speed enforcement