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Do Traffic Tickets Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Dara N. Lee ()
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Dara N. Lee: Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia, https://economics.missouri.edu

No 1119, Working Papers from Department of Economics, University of Missouri

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of traffic tickets on motor vehicle accidents. OLS estimates may be upward-biased because police officers tend to focus on areas where and periods when there is heavy traffic and thus higher rates of accidents. This paper exploits the dramatic increase in tickets during the Click-it-or-Ticket campaign to identify the causal impact of tickets on accidents using data from Massachusetts. I find that tickets significantly reduce accidents and non-fatal injuries. However, there is limited evidence that tickets lead to fewer fatalities. I provide suggestive evidence that tickets have a larger impact at night and on female drivers.

Keywords: traffic tickets; motor vehicle accidents; natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 K32 K42 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 pgs.
Date: 2011-10-05, Revised 2012-01-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea, nep-law, nep-tre and nep-ure
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Journal Article: Do Traffic Tickets Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a Natural Experiment (2015) Downloads
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