Young and unaffected by road policing strategies: Using deterrence theory to explain provisional drivers' (non)compliance

Bates, Lyndel, Darvell, Millie J., & Watson, Barry (2017) Young and unaffected by road policing strategies: Using deterrence theory to explain provisional drivers' (non)compliance. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 50(1), pp. 23-38.

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Newly licenced drivers are disproportionately represented in traffic injuries and crash statistics. Despite the implementation of countermeasures designed to improve safety, such as graduated driver licencing (GDL) schemes, many young drivers do not comply with road rules. This study used a reconceptualised deterrence theory framework to investigate young drivers’ perceptions of the enforcement of road rules in general and those more specifically related to GDL. A total of 236 drivers aged 17–24 completed a questionnaire assessing their perceptions of various deterrence mechanisms (personal and vicarious) and their compliance with both GDL-specific and general road rules. Hierarchical multiple regressions conducted to explore noncompliant behaviour revealed that, contrary to theoretical expectations, neither personal nor vicarious punishment experiences affected compliance in the expected direction. Instead, the most influential factors contributing to noncompliance were licence type (P2) and, counterintuitively, having previously been exposed to enforcement. Parental enforcement was also significant in the prediction of transient rule violations, but not fixed rule violations or overall noncompliance. Findings are discussed in light of several possibilities, including an increase in violations due to more time spent on the road, an ‘emboldening effect’ noted in prior studies and possible conceptual constraints regarding the deterrence variables examined in this study.

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ID Code: 84726
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: compliance, deterrence theory, graduated driver licencing, provisional drivers, young drivers
DOI: 10.1177/0004865815589824
ISSN: 0004-8658
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminological Theories (160204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
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 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 11 Jun 2015 22:38
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2017 00:13

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