Chinese driver perceptions about speeding and traffic law enforcement

Fleiter, Judy J., Watson, Barry C., Lennon, Alexia J., King, Mark J., Gao, Liping, Chen, Qiuxian, & Shi, Kan (2009) Chinese driver perceptions about speeding and traffic law enforcement. In The 21 st World Congress of International Traffic Medicine Association World Congress (ITMA), 26-29 April 2009, Museum voor Communicatie, The Hague. (Unpublished)

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The World Health Organisation has highlighted the urgent need to address the escalating global public health crisis associated with road trauma. Low-income and middle-income countries bear the brunt of this, and rapid increases in private vehicle ownership in these nations present new challenges to authorities, citizens, and researchers alike. The role of human factors in the road safety equation is high. In China, human factors have been implicated in more than 90% of road crashes, with speeding identified as the primary cause (Wang, 2003). However, research investigating the factors that influence driving speeds in China is lacking (WHO, 2004). To help address this gap, we present qualitative findings from group interviews conducted with 35 Beijing car drivers in 2008. Some themes arising from data analysis showed strong similarities with findings from highly-motorised nations (e.g., UK, USA, and Australia) and include issues such as driver definitions of ‘speeding’ that appear to be aligned with legislative enforcement tolerances, factors relating to ease/difficulty of speed limit compliance, and the modifying influence of speed cameras. However, unique differences were evident, some of which, to our knowledge, are previously unreported in research literature. Themes included issues relating to an expressed lack of understanding about why speed limits are necessary and a perceived lack of transparency in traffic law enforcement and use of associated revenue. The perception of an unfair system seemed related to issues such as differential treatment of certain drivers and the large amount of individual discretion available to traffic police when administering sanctions. Additionally, a wide range of strategies to overtly avoid detection for speeding and/or the associated sanctions were reported. These strategies included the use of in-vehicle speed camera detectors, covering or removing vehicle licence number plates, and using personal networks of influential people to reduce or cancel a sanction. These findings have implications for traffic law, law enforcement, driver training, and public education in China. While not representative of all Beijing drivers, we believe that these research findings offer unique insights into driver behaviour in China.

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ID Code: 47067
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Keywords: road safety, global public health, driver behaviour in China, private vehicle ownership
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
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
Deposited On: 17 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2011 01:03

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