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A Radical Change in Traffic Law: Effects on Fatalities in the Czech Republic

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  • Josef Montag

Abstract

I evaluate the effects of a new road traffic law in the Czech Republic that became effective on July 1, 2006. The law introduced tougher punishments through the introduction of a demerit point system and a manifold increase in fines, together with an augmented authority of traffic police. I find a sharp, 33.3 percent, decrease in accident-related fatalities during the first three post-reform months. This translates into 51 to 204 saved lives with 95 percent certainty. The decline was, however, temporary; estimates of the effects going beyond the first year are around zero. Unique data on traffic police activity reveal that police resources devoted to traffic law enforcement gradually declined and were shifted towards general law enforcement.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp484.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp484

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Keywords: traffic law; traffic fatalities; policy evaluation; deterrence; enforcement;

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  1. Holler, Manfred J, 1993. " Fighting Pollution When Decisions Are Strategic," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 347-56, August.
  2. Marcello Basili & Filippo Belloc & Simona Benedettini & Antonio Nicita, 2012. "Warning, Learning and Compliance: Evidence from Micro-data on Driving Behavior," Department of Economics University of Siena 639, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  3. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
  4. Luciano Andreozzi, 2002. "Oscilliations in the Enforcement of Law: an Evolutionary Analysis," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 18, pages 403-428.
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