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The speed paradox : the misalignment between driver attitudes and speeding behaviour

Fleiter, Judy J. & Watson, Barry C. (2006) The speed paradox : the misalignment between driver attitudes and speeding behaviour. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 17(2), pp. 23-30.

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Abstract

This paper reports on a study investigating preferred driving speeds and frequency of speeding of 320 Queensland drivers. Despite growing community concern about speeding and extensive research linking it to road trauma, speeding remains a pervasive, and arguably, socially acceptable behaviour. This presents an apparent paradox regarding the mismatch between beliefs and behaviours, and highlights the necessity to better understand the factors contributing to speeding. Utilising self-reported behaviour and attitudinal measures, results of this study support the notion of a speed paradox. Two thirds of participants agreed that exceeding the limit is not worth the risks nor is it okay to exceed the posted limit. Despite this, more than half (58.4%) of the participants reported a preference to exceed the 100km/hour speed limit, with one third preferring to do so by 10 to 20 km/hour. Further, mean preferred driving speeds on both urban and open roads suggest a perceived enforcement tolerance of 10%, suggesting that posted limits have limited direct influence on speed choice. Factors that significantly predicted the frequency of speeding included: exposure to role models who speed; favourable attitudes to speeding; experiences of punishment avoidance; and the perceived certainty of punishment for speeding. These findings have important policy implications, particularly relating to the use of enforcement tolerances.

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ID Code: 31373
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This paper was originally presented at the November 2005 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference in Wellington, New Zealand.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: beliefs, speed limits, risks, driver behaviour, deterrence
ISSN: 1030-7168
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australasian College of Road Safety
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2010 08:06
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 10:22

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