The deterrent effects of the penalty points system for driving offences: a regression discontinuity approach
Using data on road accidents, traffic fatalities and driving offences taking place in Italy over the period 2001–2005, we estimate the effects of the introduction on July 2003 of a penalty points system for driving offences. To identify the causal effect of the penalty points system (PPS) on road safety we use a regression discontinuity design. It emerges that, controlling for weather conditions, police patrols, speed cameras, gasoline price, unemployment rate, the introduction of the PPS has led to a reduction of about 9 % of road accidents and of about 30 % of traffic fatalities. These findings are robust to different specifications of the model and different time windows. Moreover, it emerges that the driving offences for which the introduction of the new regime has determined a sharp change in the sanction scheme have reacted more than offences for which the change was less relevant. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013
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Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
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