The Maleness of Traffic Offence Involvement: is gender an overlooked issue?
Williams, Clive K. (2003) The Maleness of Traffic Offence Involvement: is gender an overlooked issue? In Canadian Multidisciplinary Road Safety Conference XIII, 8-11 June 2003, Banff, Alberta.
There is considerable evidence confirming the predominance of young males in both traffic injury and traffic offence behaviour. Gender has not been considered a significant factor in road safety or traffic psychology and subsequently, within road safety interventions, the road use behaviour of young males has not been specifically targeted. A subgroup of young males, namely delinquent youth, has been associated with extremely risky road use behaviours through opportunistic vehicle theft. This paper reports on the first study of a three-part PhD program investigating the interrelationship between young males, delinquency and traffic offence and vehicle theft behaviours. Originally surveyed in 1988, a representative cohort of Queensland high school students aged 13 – 18 years were tracked through the Queensland Transport crash database. Original Delinquency Index scores were used to compare delinquent youth with there non-delinquent peers over a range of subsequent traffic offence and vehicle theft behaviours and across male and female participants. Being male was significantly related to adolescent motor vehicle theft and subsequently having recorded a Drink Driving or Dangerous Driving offence in early adulthood. Adolescent motor vehicle theft was also significantly associated with subsequent Drink Driving behaviour. Delinquent youth were more likely than their non-delinquent peers to have been involved in a road crash. When male and female participants were examined separately, only delinquent males were found to be significantly more likely to have had a crash than their non-delinquent male peers. Low delinquent males were significantly more likely to have reported a Dangerous Driving offence than low delinquent females. This subgroup of young males, namely delinquent males, has been overlooked in road safety education programs. These findings suggest that road use behaviour is a relevant issue for youth justice programs. The final question remains though why gender is not an issue in traffic psychology?
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