How do you call when police cars block every lane of a given street, except one, and force all cars to funnel through that single lane, in order to pass in front of a line of cops, that are looking for someone or stopping drivers at random?

It that called 'police traffic stop'? I am guessing the term based on what it would be called in my own language.

  • 2
    I would call it a “police checkpoint”.
    – StephenS
    Nov 1, 2020 at 15:26
  • 1
    a police traffic stop is not right. The police direct traffic to use a single lane. Traffic break en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_break
    – Lambie
    Nov 1, 2020 at 15:27
  • @StephenS - brilliant. Can you make it an answer?
    – Duck
    Nov 1, 2020 at 15:35
  • 1
    "Police roadblock" is the only phrase that sprang to mind, but that might suggest that the road was blocked off completely. I like StephenS's answer, "police checkpoint". I don't think the term "traffic break" is used in the UK (but it may be a valid answer for the US, of course).
    – rjpond
    Nov 1, 2020 at 15:36
  • Traffic break is used, but for something else: holding traffic back so the road can be cleared of a hazard. A traffic break can be implemented as a roadblock, or a rolling roadblock, but there is no checking of cars in a traffic break.
    – James K
    Nov 1, 2020 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


"Police checkpoint" would seem to be the best expression.

The closing of lanes and forcing cars to stop is called a "roadblock". The purpose of the roadblock is to allow police to run a checkpoint.

(a traffic break is something else, see the relevant wikipage)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .