Young driver perceptions of police traffic enforcement and self reported driving offences

Bates, Lyndel, Scott-Parker, Bridie, Allen, Siobhan, & Watson, Barry (2016) Young driver perceptions of police traffic enforcement and self reported driving offences. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 39(4), pp. 723-739.

View at publisher



  • Road policing is a key method used to improve driver compliance with road laws. However, we have a very limited understanding of the perceptions of young drivers regarding police enforcement of road laws. This paper addresses this gap.


  • Within this study 238 young drivers from Queensland, Australia, aged 17-24 years (M = 18, SD = 1.54), with a provisional (intermediate) driver’s licence completed an online survey regarding their perceptions of police enforcement and their driver thrill seeking tendencies. This study considered whether these factors influenced self-reported transient (e.g., travelling speed) and fixed (e.g., blood alcohol concentration) road violations by the young drivers.


  • The results indicate that being detected by police for a traffic offence, and the frequency with which they display P-plates on their vehicle to indicate their licence status, are associated with both self-reported transient and fixed rule violations. Licence type, police avoidance behaviours and driver thrill seeking affected transient rule violations only, while perceptions of police enforcement affected fixed rule violations only.

Practical implications

  • This study suggests that police enforcement of young driver violations of traffic laws may not be as effective as expected and that we need to improve the way in which police enforce road laws for young novice drivers.


  • This paper identifies that perceptions of police enforcement by young drivers does not influence all types of road offences.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

11 since deposited on 13 Apr 2016
11 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 94846
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: road policing, traffic law enforcement, teen driver, graduated driver licensing, novice driver, violations
DOI: 10.1108/PIJPSM-10-2015-0121
ISSN: 1363-951X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Police Administration Procedures and Practice (160205)
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 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 13 Apr 2016 03:17
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2016 08:48

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page