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A radical change in traffic law: effects on fatalities in the Czech Republic

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  • Josef Montag

    () (Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University in Brno)

Abstract

This study examines short- and long-run effects of a new—stricter—road traffic law on traf- fic accident-related fatalities in the Czech Republic. The law introduced tougher punishments through the introduction of a demerit point system and a manifold increase in fines, together with augmented authority of traffic police. Identification is based on difference-in-differences methodology, with neighbouring countries serving as a control group. I find a sharp, 33.3%, decrease in accident-related fatalities during the first three post-reform months. This trans- lates into 127 saved lives (95% confidence interval: 51, 204). The decline was, however, temporary; the 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. Tougher penalties have significant, but often short-lived effects. Weaker enforcement in the aftermath of such reforms may explain the absence of long-run effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Josef Montag, 2013. "A radical change in traffic law: effects on fatalities in the Czech Republic," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2013-39, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:men:wpaper:39_2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    4. Holler, Manfred J, 1993. "Fighting Pollution When Decisions Are Strategic," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 347-356, August.
    5. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & Castro-Nuño, Mercedes & Fageda, Xavier, 2015. "Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in the experiences of European countries," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 86-94.
    2. Tomas Brabenec & Josef Montag, 2016. "Criminals and the Price System: Evidence from Czech Metal Thieves," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp558, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    3. Geir H. M. Bjertnæs, 2019. "Efficient taxation of fuel and road use," Discussion Papers 905, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. Montag, Josef, 2015. "The simple economics of motor vehicle pollution: A case for fuel tax," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 138-149.
    5. Traxler, Christian & Westermaier, Franz G. & Wohlschlegel, Ansgar, 2018. "Bunching on the Autobahn? Speeding responses to a ‘notched’ penalty scheme," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 78-94.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    traffic law; traffic accidents; demerit point system; law enforcement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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