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The Costs of Avoiding Accidents.Selective Compliance and the 'Peltzman Effect' in Italy

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  • Antonio Nicita
  • Simona Benedettini

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Nicita & Simona Benedettini, 2012. "The Costs of Avoiding Accidents.Selective Compliance and the 'Peltzman Effect' in Italy," Department of Economics University of Siena 631, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:631
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. 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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