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The costs of avoiding accidents: Selective compliance and the ‘Peltzman effect’ in Italy

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  • Benedettini, Simona
  • Nicita, Antonio

Abstract

We empirically investigate the deterrent and offsetting effects of the introduction of a point-record driving license (PDRL) in Italy. We find that the PDRL resulted in a sharp reduction of seat belt offenses, and in a noticeable decrease of road accidents. However, the reduction in occupant fatalities and injuries was associated with an increase in non-occupant ones, suggesting a remarkable “Peltzman effect”. We then discuss whether a given enforcement design, by inducing drivers to make the best use of safety resources already available to them, may generate more external costs than would otherwise occur.

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  • Benedettini, Simona & Nicita, Antonio, 2012. "The costs of avoiding accidents: Selective compliance and the ‘Peltzman effect’ in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 256-270.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:2:p:256-270
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2012.02.001
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    Cited by:

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    2. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & Castro-Nuño, Mercedes & López-Valpuesta, Lourdes & Pedregal, Diego J., 2019. "From legislation to compliance: The power of traffic law enforcement for the case study of Spain," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-9.
    3. Basili, Marcello & Belloc, Filippo & Nicita, Antonio, 2015. "Group attitude and hybrid sanctions: Micro-econometric evidence from traffic law," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 325-336.
    4. Lv, Jinpeng & Lord, Dominique & Zhang, Yunlong & Chen, Zhi, 2015. "Investigating Peltzman effects in adopting mandatory seat belt laws in the US: Evidence from non-occupant fatalities," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 58-64.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Offsetting behavior; Point-record driving license; Seat belts; Traffic law enforcement; Traffic fatalities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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