Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 30, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

TRAFFIC TICKETS....Researchers at Stanford University have concluded that traffic tickets save lives:

The team examined the records of drivers in Ontario, Canada, and found that receiving a traffic ticket reduces a driver's risk of dying in a crash by 35 percent in the weeks following the citation. "You don't think the police are doing a public service when they issue tickets, but traffic enforcement has a huge public-health benefit," said [Robert] Tibshirani, professor of health research and policy at Stanford and study co-author. "It may be a nuisance to receive a ticket but it could be helpful."

I have two comments:

  • I would bloody well hope this was the case. If handing out tickets had no effect on people's driving habits, then enforcing traffic laws would be sort of pointless, wouldn't it?

  • Since the effect apparently lasts only a few weeks, that means that traffic cops would have to hand out a dozen tickets per year per driver to keep our roads safe. I think I'll pass on that.

Science marches on.

Kevin Drum 3:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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