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Did California's hand-held cell phone ban reduce accidents?

Nicholas Burger, Daniel Kaffine and Bo Yu
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Bo Yu: Division of Mathematics and Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines

No 2013-08, Working Papers from Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business

Abstract: On July 1st, 2008, California enacted a ban on hand-held cell phone use while driving. Using California Highway Patrol panel accident data for California freeways from January 1st, 2008 to December 31st, 2008, we examine whether this policy reduced the number of accidents on California highways. To control for unobserved time-varying effects that could be correlated with the ban, we use high-frequency data and a regression discontinuity design. We find no evidence that the ban on hand-held cell phone use led to a reduction in traffic accidents.

Keywords: Cell phone ban; traffic safety; regression discontinuity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2013-08
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http://econbus-papers.mines.edu/working-papers/wp201308.pdf First version, 2013 (application/pdf)

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