Each one percent increase in traffic tickets reduces accidents by 0.28 percent.
That was the finding in a 2014
study from Massachusetts. The researchers collected data during a "Click
It Or Ticket" STEP campaign. In The Bay State, a seat belt violation
is a secondary ticket, so motorists must be speeding or making an illegal
turn or doing something else before they can be ticketed for no seat belt.
The tickets had the largest impact on driving safety at night and in densely
populated areas. The intense media campaign associated with STEP enforcement
may have also played a role.
The authors suggested "allocating more resources toward municipalities
with higher population densities and increase traffic enforcement at night."
Safety vs. Revenue
This study may lay out a road map for safer roads in Tulare County through
targeted traffic enforcement. Instead of writing speeding tickets on the
freeway during the day, law enforcement should strive to change peoples'
driving habits by writing non-speeding tickets at night in urban areas.
But that will probably not happen. Speeding tickets are easier to write
during daylight hours, there are more speeders on highways like I-5 than
in urban areas, and these citations are easier to prove in court than
some other violations.
Until resources are shifted toward enforcing non speed violations in the
streets of Bakersfield and Fresno, it will be apparent that the state
is more interested in your money than in your well-being.