The effectiveness of traffic policing in reducing traffic crashes

Bates, Lyndel J., Soole, David W., & Watson, Barry C. (2012) The effectiveness of traffic policing in reducing traffic crashes. In Prenzler, Tim (Ed.) Policing and Security in Practice : Challenges and Achievements. Palgrave Macmillan, United Kingdom, pp. 90-109.

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Many governments throughout the world rely heavily on traffic law enforcement programs to modify driver behaviour and enhance road safety. There are two related functions of traffic law enforcement, apprehension and deterrence, and these are achieved through three processes: the establishment of traffic laws, the policing of those laws, and the application of penalties and sanctions to offenders. Traffic policing programs can vary by visibility (overt or covert) and deployment methods (scheduled and non-scheduled), while sanctions can serve to constrain, deter or reform offending behaviour. This chapter will review the effectiveness of traffic law enforcement strategies from the perspective of a range of high-risk, illegal driving behaviours including drink/drug driving, speeding, seat belt use and red light running. Additionally, this chapter discusses how traffic police are increasingly using technology to enforce traffic laws and thus reduce crashes.

The chapter concludes that effective traffic policing involves a range of both overt and covert operations and includes a mix of automatic and more traditional manual enforcement methods. It is important to increase both the perceived and actual risk of detection by ensuring that traffic law enforcement operations are sufficiently intensive, unpredictable in nature and conducted as widely as possible across the road network. A key means of maintaining the unpredictability of operations is through the random deployment of enforcement and/or the random checking of drivers. The impact of traffic enforcement is also heightened when it is supported by public education campaigns. In the future, technological improvements will allow the use of more innovative enforcement strategies. Finally, further research is needed to continue the development of traffic policing approaches and address emerging road safety issues.

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ID Code: 50627
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9780230300569
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 2012 Palgrave Macmillan
Deposited On: 29 May 2012 01:08
Last Modified: 10 May 2016 12:52

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