Are Current Law Enforcement Strategies Associated with Lower Risk of Repeat Speeding Violations and Road Crash Involvement - A Longitudinal Study of Maryland Drivers
AbstractObjectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of traffic court appearances and compare different legal penalties in reducing speeding violation recidivism and crash risk among Maryland drivers. Methods: The existing Maryland databases on licensure, traffic citations, and road crashes were the primary sources for the study. A cohort of Maryland drivers, who received a speeding violation and disposed of it in May/June 2003, was divided into two groups, those who paid fine by mail and those who went to court; the latter were further divided into 5 groups according to the verdicts rendered by the court: 1) not guilty, 2) suspension of prosecution or no prosecution (STET/NP), 3) case dismissed, 4) probation before judgment (PBJ) and fines, and 5) fines and demerit points groups. We followed each group of drivers from July 2003 to July 2006 to ascertain the receipt of a subsequent speeding citation and/or being involved in a police-reported crash. Survival and multivariable analyses were used to explore the time to a subsequent speeding citation and time to involvement in a police-reported crash during follow-up, while adjusting for covariates that included demographic and driving history factors. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated and compared between court appearance group and paying fine by mail group, and between not guilty group and other groups who received different penalties. Results: We found that court appearance, as compared to paying fines by mail, was associated with 7% (Adjusted HR 0.93, 95% CI=0.89 - 0.97) reduction in the risk of receiving a subsequent speeding citation. Compared to not guilty verdict, only STET/NP was associated with lower risk of both speeding violations (Adjusted HR 0.70, 95% CI=0.60 - 0.82) and crash (Adjusted HR 0.71, 95% CI=0.56 - 0.89). PBJ was only associated with reduced risk of subsequent speeding citation (Adjusted HR 0.83, 95% CI=0.75 - 0.91) Conclusion: Among Maryland drivers caught speeding, appearing in traffic court and receiving certain verdicts, such as PBJ, or STET/NP, deterred repeat offenses, but did not significantly impact driver crash risk.
DescriptionUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore. Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. Ph.D. 2010
traffic law enforcement
Traffic violations--United States--Prevention