Criminal justice

Appropriate penalties for traffic offenders are vital to deter this behaviour and underline the severity of traffic offences. Use this page to access research on effective criminal justice measures, as well as trends and developments in criminal justice around the world.

Drivers unaware of the serious consequences of failing to stop after an accident
University of Leicester, UK, 12/01/17

Drivers fail to understand the serious consequences of a crash and there is a public perception that road traffic offences.

Research-informed evidence and support for road safety legislation
Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, 14/09/14

US adults are more likely to support road safety laws when shown evidence on how they will reduce casualties.

The impact of the penalty point system on the behaviour of young drivers and passengers in Spain
University of Girona, 18/07/14

Speeding and drink driving decreased, and seat belt use increased, among young drivers in Spain following the introduction of a penalty points system for traffic offences, applying to all drivers, in 2006.

1 in 5 UK drivers not banned for causing a death
CTC, 17/07/14

Only 80% of UK drivers convicted of killing another road user have their licence withdrawn, compared to 94% ten years ago.

Traffic rule violations and traffic crash history for young drivers
Ege University, Turkey, 12/07/14

Young drivers who sometimes don’t wear seat belts are more likely to be involved in crashes than those who always belt up.

RAC Report on Motoring 2014
RAC, 26/06/14

Only 16% of UK drivers can remember stopping distances quoted in the Highway Code, and one in five (21%) don’t know using social media while driving is illegal.

Four in five support tougher penalties for killer drivers
Brake and Direct Line, 21/03/14

Four in five UK drivers (82%) believe drivers who cause death or serious injury should face tougher sentences.

The effect of traffic tickets on road traffic crashes
University of Haifa, 02/12/13

Israeli drivers who receive one traffic ticket per year are 65% more likely to crash than drivers with no tickets.

Traffic police numbers across Great Britain have been cut by 12% in five years
Brake and, 09/07/13

Traffic police numbers across Great Britain have been cut by 12% in five years, with some forces suffering 30-40% reductions.

Red light violations dropped following installation of traffic light cameras in Virginia
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 24/01/13

Red light violations fell by up to 86% following the installation of traffic light cameras at four intersections in Arlington, Virginia.

Tougher penalties and increased police enforcement reduce speeding re-offending rates
Queensland University of Technology, 31/10/12

Speeding re-offending rates dropped following the introduction of tougher penalties and increased police enforcement in Queensland, Australia.

Drivers demand tougher justice for traffic offenders
Brake and Direct Line, 20/09/12

The vast majority of UK drivers want to see tougher penalties for traffic offenders.

Lenient sentences for dangerous drivers
IAM, 12/07/12

The average punishment for causing death by dangerous driving in the UK is 62% more lenient than for manslaughter.

Attitudes towards requiring ignition interlocks for all driving while intoxicated
National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, 25/07/12

69% of the USA public support mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drink drivers.

Interlocks for first-time DUI convictions cut repeat offenses
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 26/03/12

Installing alcohol interlocks for first time drink drivers would cut recidivism rates by almost 50%.

Enforcement cameras and red light running
Auckland Transport, 29/07/11

Enforcement cameras reduce crashes caused by red light running by 69%.

Deterrence Theory and the Implementation of Speed Limits in the American States
University of Missouri, 18/05/11

The deterrence effect of increasing penalties for speeding drivers is dependent on the perceived threat of being caught.

Effect on road traffic injuries of criminalizing road traffic offences
The Agéncia de Salut Pública de Barcelona, 31/03/11

Crashes and casualties have reduced following reforms to the Spanish penal system that criminalised and introduced jail terms for certain driving offences, including speeding.

Traffic Law Enforcement across the EU: Tackling the Three Main Killers on Europe's Roads
ETSC, 28/02/11

Yearly compliance targets for speeding, drink driving and seat belt use are vital for tackling these three main killers on Europe's roads.

Strategies to Increase Seat Belt Use: An Analysis of Levels of Fines And the Type of Law
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 14/01/11

Increasing penalties for failure to wear a seat-belt for US drivers increases compliance.

The effect on collisions with injuries of a reduction in traffic citations
University of Montreal, Canada, 07/12/10

During a period of 61% reduced ticketing for traffic violations in Quebec, injury crashes rose.

Improving road safety through deterrence-based initiatives: a review of research
Queensland University of Technology, Australia, 07/12/10

Speed enforcement should form part of a multi-pronged approach including education to improve road safety and change entrenched "at-risk" driving behaviours.

Police enforcement and driving speed
SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, 07/12/10

Public support for speed enforcement has increased by 15% in the Netherlands between 2003 and 2008.

DfT Citizens’ Panel Road Safety
Department for Transport, 24/09/10

The majority of British people think that poor enforcement of traffic laws provides inadequate deterrent to bad drivers.

The Implementation of Alcohol Interlock for First Offenders: A Case Study
Traffic Injury Research Foundation, 16/08/10

Alcohol interlocks effectively reduce drink drive recidivism by an average of 64%.

Drink drive enforcement in rural communities
New Zealand Transport Agency, 01/10/09

Enforcement of drink driving in rural areas needs to be unpredictable and combined with community education. News about enforcement campaigns travels fast in small communities and undermines police.

Road policing and technology - getting the right balance
Parliamentary Transport Select Committee, UK, 20/03/06

Calls for more investment in road policing.


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