The road safety implications of unlicensed driving : A survey of unlicensed drivers

Watson, Barry C. (2003) The road safety implications of unlicensed driving : A survey of unlicensed drivers. Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Civic Square, ACT.


This report documents the findings of a survey of 309 unlicensed driving offenders interviewed at the Brisbane Central Magistrates Court. A wide range of offenders participated in the study including disqualified and suspended drivers, expired licence holders, drivers without a current or appropriate licence, and those who had never been licensed. The results indicate that unlicensed drivers should not be viewed as a homogenous group. Significant differences exist between offender types in terms of their socio-demographic characteristics, whether they were aware of being unlicensed or not, their behaviour while unlicensed, and the factors contributing to their behaviour. Among some offenders, unlicensed driving appears to be indicative of a more general pattern of non-conformity and illegal behaviour. While many offenders limited their driving while unlicensed, others continued to drive frequently. Moreover, almost one-third of the sample continued to drive unlicensed after being detected by the police. One of the strongest predictors of both the frequency of unlicensed driving and continued driving after detection was whether the offenders needed to drive for work purposes when unlicensed. While there was some evidence that offenders attempted to drive more cautiously while unlicensed, this was not always reflected in their reported drink driving or speeding behaviour. The results highlight the need to enhance current policies and procedures to counter unlicensed driving. In particular, there is a need to examine current enforcement practices since over one-third of the participants reported being pulled over by the Police while driving unlicensed but not having their licence checked.

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ID Code: 8946
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional Information: Another version published by Queensland University of Technology. Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety. Also avaliable on eBook. For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Author contact details:
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Keywords: unlicensed, disqualified, suspended, revoked, driver behaviour, road safety, deterrence, social learning
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
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 > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Promotion (111712)
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 2003 The Author
Deposited On: 10 Aug 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 05:44

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