Do Speeding Tickets Deter Drivers From Speeding?

The NMA has long held that drivers will travel at a speed that is reasonable to them regardless of the speed limit. With arbitrarily low speed limits in place across much of the country, it’s no surprise that the majority of drivers choose to travel above the speed limit.

The response of government has always been to hand out speeding tickets with heavy financial penalties to deter this behavior.

However, anecdotal evidence has shown that this has had little effect on driver behavior and has only padded the budgets of local and state government. Now more concrete evidence is available as well.

There was a study done recently that confirms the fact that speeding tickets are an ineffective way to deter speeding. This study was published in the March 2007 issue of Traffic Injury Prevention.

Here’s a quick summary of the study:

Do Speeding Tickets Reduce the Likelihood of Receiving Subsequent Speeding Tickets?

Saranath Lawpoolsri a; Jingyi Li a; Elisa R. Braver ab

a Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
b National Study Center for Trauma and EMS, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Study Objective:
Speeding tickets are the most commonly used tool to deter speeders, yet little is known about how speeding citations affect individual drivers’ behavior over time.

This study examined the effects of being cited for speeding and types of legal consequences on drivers’ subsequent speeding citations, which are an indicator of speeding behavior.

Drivers who receive speeding citations are at increased risk of receiving subsequent speeding citations, suggesting that speeding citations have limited effects on deterrence in the context of the current traffic enforcement system.

The full study goes into greater detail, including how different types of penalties can affect results.

Image Credit: Taylor & Francis Group

Not an NMA Member yet?

Join today and get these great benefits!

Comments are closed.