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From legislation to compliance: The power of traffic law enforcement for the case study of Spain

Castillo-Manzano, José I., Castro-Nuño, Mercedes, López-Valpuesta, Lourdes and Diego J. Pedregal

Transport Policy, 2019, vol. 75, issue C, 1-9

Abstract: Using a dynamic transfer function model-based methodology, this study analyzes the joint influence of legislation changes, enforcement and compliance with driving regulations in terms of road fatalities in Spain during the 2005–2015 time period. Three robust econometric models demonstrate that two of the road safety law reforms recently implemented in Spain, the points-based driver's license and the toughening of the Penal Code, have had positive impacts, albeit with varying durations. Their impacts are also seen to have been reinforced by the application of a range of monitoring instruments to track compliance. The most effective of these include radar speed measuring devices, the mere presence of which has the desired deterrent effect irrespective of the positive proof that they might detect. However, lack of compliance with maximum alcohol limits seems to increase road fatalities, which suggests that a more complex preventive strategy needs to be developed through a combination of programmed actions. Lastly, the irreplaceable deterrence role of traffic police who enforce compliance with driving laws stands out, with the number of officers deployed being decisive.

Keywords: Legislation; Traffic Law Enforcement; Compliance; Fatalities; Dynamic transfer function models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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