The Effects of Traffic Tickets on Motorist Behavior
If you are pulled over and ticketed, are you more likely to change your driving behavior? That is the very question that researchers have sought to answer for years. Two studies have produced differing outcomes regarding the efficacy of ticketing drivers, though both make interesting points.
Study 1: Tickets Bring About Change
The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management published a study in 2014, zoning in on the state of Massachusetts and its Click It or Ticket program. The campaign sought to issue citations for drivers who were not wearing seatbelts, but only if the driver had also broken another traffic law, such as speeding or illegal passing. Researchers pored over the relationship between the number of tickets issued and how many crashes and fatalities occurred.
Authors of the study noted that once the program was launched in 2002, the number of overall citations across the state increased. At the same time, the number of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities decreased. The study demonstrated that a 1 percent rise in the number of tickets resulted in a 0.28 percent decrease in accidents.
Some other interesting results include:
- Tickets had a greater impact on women than on men.
- The relationship between tickets and crashes is most prevalent at night.
- The campaign also led to a decrease in nonfatal injuries.
In summation, the researchers said there is evidence to suggest that motorists do change their behavior following a traffic ticket.
Study 2: Tickets Don’t Deter Drivers
The National Motorists Association has a different point of view. They report that overall, speeding tickets are ineffective at deterring speeding, which is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. The NMA notes that one of the conclusions of a March 2007 study is that drivers who speed and are ticketed are actually more likely to receive additional citations.
The study did find one caveat: Women who received tickets were less likely to have repeat citations. Researchers concluded that simply giving drivers the impression that they may be ticketed could be more effective than actually issuing tickets, as motorists were more likely to slow down if they felt there was a risk of getting caught.
At Nosal & Jeter LLP we know that regardless of how your behavior may be affected, receiving a traffic citation can cause you significant problems. In addition to fines and insurance rate hikes, a ticket can impact your driver’s license and even employment. We regularly work with clients in North Carolina and South Carolina to get charges reduced or dismissed. Allow us to help you fight your ticket and get back on the road again.
Source: Journalists Resource, “Do traffic tickets reduce motor vehicle crashes? Evidence from Click It or Ticket,” Rachael Stephens, Oct. 20, 2014