By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
It would be fair to say that most people don’t like to get ticketed by law enforcement.
But, at least here in Wyoming, getting stopped, ticketed, arrested, or having any other interaction with the Wyoming Highway Patrol can lead to more positive feelings toward the department.
A new poll released by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) showed that people’s feelings toward the Wyoming Highway Patrol improved after having contact with them.
“What was really impressive is that if you had an interaction with a trooper, your perception actually increased,” WYDOT Director Luke Reiner said.
It’s a big increase too.
When asked about courtesy and respectfulness of Wyoming Highway Patrol personnel, 68% who had no contact said they were satisfied, but 86% who did have contact said they were satisfied, the survey indicated.
No word if WYDOT interviewed any of the drivers who tried unsuccessfully to elude the Highway Patrol, thereby breaking numerous more laws and likely increasing the odds of going to prison.
One of these individuals, earlier this year, tried to elude the Highway Patrol on a closed interstate after a record-breaking snowstorm. Although the driver had the highway to himself, the five-foot snowdrifts made it difficult to elude anything. He ended up in a snowbank before being arrested.
Other findings include:
In 2020, WYDOT received an 81.5% approval rating for promptness, compared to a 78.7% rating in 2018.
For courtesy of the staff, WYDOT received an 88.5% approval rating in 2020 compared to 85.7% in 2018.
The survey showed that perceptions of road quality and maintenance dipped in 2020, with 80% of respondents saying they were satisfied after a highway construction project versus 82% in 2018.
The University of Wyoming’s Survey & Analysis Center conducted the survey from Nov. 25, 2020 through Jan. 9, 2021. Center callers completed 913 interviews, 733 were on cellphones and 180 on landlines.