Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Effective Speed Enforcement and Photo Radar: Evidence from Australia

Ferrara, Ida and Missios, Paul (2000): Effective Speed Enforcement and Photo Radar: Evidence from Australia. Published in: International Journal of Transport Economics , Vol. 28, No. 3 (2001): pp. 373-385.

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This paper briefly examines the effectiveness of photo radar, or the use of automatic camera-equipped traffic monitoring devices, in reducing road fatalities and collisions. Photo radar has become a controversial subject among the driving public, largely due to its tendency to produce substantially increased revenues for the implementing governments. From the road safety literature, there appears to be a causal link between driving at excessive speeds and traffic accidents (and fatalities). Photo radar is designed to reduce speeding by increasing the likelihood of catching those drivers over some predetermined speed threshold, but can be limited in certain circumstances by the inability to identify the driver. A simplified driver-choice model is provided to demonstrate the effects of photo radar on speeding when the driver can be identified (and demerit points applied) and when the vehicle owner is applied a monetary fine alone. Raw data from Victoria, Australia, suggest that photo radar has significantly reduced both fatalities and collisions after its introduction in 1990, and controlling for other factors, including proxies for weather conditions and drunken driving, we find that photo radar can indeed be an effective road safety device.

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