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4/12/2005Texas Randomly Stopping Motorists to Conduct Surveys
Texas police are pulling over motorists so they can take a travel survey for TXDOT.
Texas Department of Transportation workers are using the police to pull over motorists who have done nothing wrong to get them to participate in a "travel survey." Once stopped, the motorist may decline to participate. The surveyors will ask participating motorists 15-25 questions about travel and the quality of the roads.
The surveys are taken on the more rural edges of urban areas, including parts of Collin, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Johnson and Wise counties. The thought is that people aren't as busy in the outlying areas. Cameras are also used to track license plates so that they can later stop and ask individuals about their travel patterns. The survey used $527,000 in federal funds.
"They will ask questions about travel and what motorists' comments are about the roads they use," said Angela Loston, a spokeswoman for the Dallas office of the state Transportation Department. "It should take only about three to four minutes... This gives us an opportunity to see what the travel needs are in the state and see what the opportunities are for improving motorists' travel needs," Ms. Loston said.Source: Traffic stops won't yield tickets, only information (Dallas Morning News, 4/10/2005)
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