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http://abcnews.go.com/sections....html
Ticket to Highway Safety?
Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives
By Lee Dye
July 2 — Pity the poor traffic cop.
He's the last guy you want to see in your rear-view mirror when you're speeding down the highway. Why isn't he out looking for murderers instead of nailing drivers for minor infractions of the law?
Well, according to a major research project by scientists in Canada and California, that cop just might be saving your life. Or the life of someone else.
The researchers have found that a traffic ticket reduces a driver's chance of being involved in a fatal accident by a whopping 35 percent, at least for a few weeks. The effect doesn't last long, however. Within three to four months, the lead foot is back on the pedal and the risk of killing yourself or someone else is back up to where it was before that cop stared you in the eye and wrote out that expensive citation.
The bottom line, according to the research, published in the June 28 issue of The Lancet, is that traffic tickets save lives. Maybe thousands of lives, every year. Yet traffic laws are enforced sporadically, almost as if by whim, partly because people just don't like traffic cops, and there are lots of other things for the government to spend money on than enforcing highway safety laws.

The Grim Statistics
That attitude needs to be changed, according to Donald A. Redelmeier of the University of Toronto and Robert J. Tibshirani of Stanford University. Both men are medical researchers, and this isn't the first time they've taken a hard look at highway safety. Their 1998 study caused a stir when they linked cell phone usage to traffic accidents. Now they're back, saying traffic tickets are good for our health.
They were prodded into this project by some very grim statistics. Each year, more than a million persons die in traffic accidents worldwide. If that many people died of SARS in a year, the public response would probably border on hysteria, but we have come to accept traffic fatalities as a way of life.
In addition, another 25 million people around the world are permanently disabled by traffic accidents, and many of them — as well as the fatalities — are children.

Taking It Easy After a Ticket?
When Redelmeier and Tibshirani and fellow researcher Leonard Evans set out to see if traffic tickets really do any good, they found an enormous resource in the Canadian province of Ontario. The full driving record of every licensed driver there was made available to them, warts and all, giving the researchers a huge data base of more than 10 million licensed drivers, 8,975 of whom were involved in a fatal accident during the 11-year period covered by the research, from 1988 through 1998.
"We looked at the month prior to a fatal accident, and the number of traffic convictions, and then the same month in the year before," says Tibshirani, a statistician. "What we found was that there were fewer tickets in the month before a fatal accident than there were a year before, and that suggests there's a protective effect of having a ticket."
In other words, when the number of citations went down, the number of fatal accidents went up the following month, and when the number of tickets went up, the number of fatal accidents dropped the following month. The analysis shows that fatal accidents declined by 35 percent because of citations.
Apparently, people just drove more cautiously following a traffic citation, but that only lasted a maximum of four months, the researchers say. After that brief respite, it was back to business as usual for most motorists.

Citations’ Effects Consistent
The scientists also turned up some surprising results.
"Most of the crashes did not involve alcohol and were not at an intersection," they report in their research paper. Most occurred during the summer months when the streets were dry (65 percent) rather than wet (18 percent) or covered with snow (17 percent).
They also found that the "relative risk reduction associated with traffic convictions was remarkably consistent among subgroups of licensed drivers," so the same results apply to women as well as men, regardless of age, prior driving record, and other personal data.
Men, however, were involved in far more fatal accidents than women (73 percent to 27 percent) and the most accident-prone age was between 30 and 50. Alcohol was detected in only 7 percent of the accidents.
The researchers also addressed the commonly held belief that traffic citations cause more accidents than they prevent because so many people are killed during police chases. They found that only 24 deaths could be linked to writing citations during the 11-year period. That included 17 suspects, five bystanders and two police officers.
"The typical suspect who died was a 26-year-old man pursued by police after fleeing a spot check for alcohol or a speeding violation," they report. The two police officers were killed in separate events when they were hit by a car while writing a ticket for another motorist.

Who Really Pays?
The researchers admit there are a few gaps in their findings. The statistics do not include Ontario drivers who may have been involved in a fatal accident somewhere outside that province. Nor can they say that every traffic ticket leads to a reduction in accidents. But the statistics suggest a correlation between the number of citations and the number of fatalities.
They also point out that the innocent are often made to pay the price for careless drivers.
"Unlike other common diseases, the victims are often young and need significant subsequent care for decades. Most crashes are unintended, unexpected, and could have been prevented by a small difference in driver behavior."
So the next time you see that cop in your rear-view mirror, give him, or her, a broad smile.
Yeah, right.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (CJ Jack)

I seem to remember driving like a pissed off mofo when I get a ticket. HMMMMM.
It's funny that the only problems caused by enforcement that they consider are the most extreme by far. Pretty clear bias there, who funded this study?
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (PseudoEnthusiast)

So does that mean my insurance should go down after I get a ticket?
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (CJ Jack)

What a pile. Let's take two unrelated things and correlate data until something actually matches. Hmmm... there are more accidents in the winter, and people buy lots of things for Christmas in the winter.... CHRISTMAS CAUSES ACCIDENTS! BAN CHIRSTMAS!!!
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (theevilshiftkey)

Quote, originally posted by theevilshiftkey »
What a pile. Let's take two unrelated things and correlate data until something actually matches. Hmmm... there are more accidents in the winter, and people buy lots of things for Christmas in the winter.... CHRISTMAS CAUSES ACCIDENTS! BAN CHIRSTMAS!!!

if you actually read the whole article you would have saw that there are actually more accidents in the summer on DRY roads
you get the big ol'
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (CJ Jack)

I live by the words of the traffic instructer whom taught one of the many driver re-education courses that I've taken

He said:
Quote, originally posted by Kentucky Law Enforcement Driver's education dude: »

In most accounts the speeder is the safest driver on the road. Why you ask? Because his eyes are as big as hubcaps as he scans the roads for the traffic cop waiting in the weeds.

Thus the speeder is a more alert driver.
I'd weigh more faith in his opinion than of the ticket=safety idea. Either way the traffic cop saves lives
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (Schnell-Corrado)

Quote, originally posted by Schnell-Corrado »

if you actually read the whole article you would have saw that there are actually more accidents in the summer on DRY roads
you get the big ol'

I don't think he was referring to the conditions or time of year. I think he was referring to this rather dubious logic:
Quote »

"We looked at the month prior to a fatal accident, and the number of traffic convictions, and then the same month in the year before," says Tibshirani, a statistician. "What we found was that there were fewer tickets in the month before a fatal accident than there were a year before, and that suggests there's a protective effect of having a ticket."
In other words, when the number of citations went down, the number of fatal accidents went up the following month, and when the number of tickets went up, the number of fatal accidents dropped the following month. The analysis shows that fatal accidents declined by 35 percent because of citations.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (CJ Jack)

"Thus the speeder is a more alert driver."
That's true until you get the soccer moms and the old geezers in their caddies on the cell phones. Then you have to contend with the non speeders who wont even see you coming and pull right in front of you.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (Schnell-Corrado)

Quote, originally posted by Schnell-Corrado »

if you actually read the whole article you would have saw that there are actually more accidents in the summer on DRY roads
you get the big ol'

I read it all. I was just using the same crappy logic that article regurgitated. The lack of accurate crash data doesn't effect my point.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (theevilshiftkey)

The link is tenuous at best. Talk about the gross manipulation of statistics. I think you could provide a link between flatulence in Bermuda and the subsequent effect on fatalities in Alaska if you looked hard enough.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (Double-V)

I got to the part about the research being done by California and Canada and thats where I stopped
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (CJ Jack)

No actual FACTS or FIGURES cited..
I wonder why that is?
Probably the mere THOUGHT of citing actual facts makes their nads shrivel up in fright..

This is merely propaganda bull**** here, without any FACTS to back up their "claims".
This is the SAME type of person who screamed the repeal of 55mph would lead to a BLOOD BATH on our roads!
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (VR6mommie)

Quote »
Men, however, were involved in far more fatal accidents than women (73 percent to 27 percent) and the most accident-prone age was between 30 and 50. Alcohol was detected in only 7 percent of the accidents.


So explain to me again why insurance is so high for us under-25 folks?
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (ABK)

Quote, originally posted by ABK »
"Thus the speeder is a more alert driver."
That's true until you get the soccer moms and the old geezers in their caddies on the cell phones. Then you have to contend with the non speeders who wont even see you coming and pull right in front of you.

Tickets are a money making scam...when you go to "driving school" it cost you almost as much as the ticket fine, if you use a ticket lawyer for several tickets, the court costs eventually end up costing as much as the ticket...

the problem is that it is pretty easy for people to get a license in the U.S. If they were to make licenses harder to get(ie educate the person correctly, including hands on driving, emergency driving situations...etc)
it would weed out the bad drivers from both ends of the spectrum, from the idiot kid who just got his license on the same day his copy of Fast and the Furious NOS edition came in, to the little old man or lady whose reaction times are so fried that they become a serious hazard to others..
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (CJ Jack)

Hmm..was this article actually meant to be taken as factual?
After all, given the right sample I can show a correlation between any two data sets.
Pehaps the author has an axe to grind or a grant award pending.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (Silly_me)

Quote, originally posted by Silly_me »

Thus the speeder is a more alert driver.
I'd weigh more faith in his opinion than of the ticket=safety idea. Either way the traffic cop saves lives

Given the amount of clueless driving that I've seen, there are plenty of both fast and slow drivers who are clueless. Also, being alert is not the whole thing -- some drivers take a lot of stupid risks (quite common with fast drivers, but also a problem with slow drivers).
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (theevilshiftkey)

Quote, originally posted by theevilshiftkey »
What a pile. Let's take two unrelated things and correlate data until something actually matches. Hmmm... there are more accidents in the winter, and people buy lots of things for Christmas in the winter.... CHRISTMAS CAUSES ACCIDENTS! BAN CHIRSTMAS!!!

A correlation is not necessarily a causal relationship. All it says is that they are related. A correlation can also be taken the opposite way; for example this study could just as easily say that fatal accidents reduce tickets rather than the other way around.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (Richard Hurts)

Actually, the article says Stanford not Berkeley, but it was also these rocket scientists that statisticly proved cell phone use while driving causes accidents. I think this goes to show how wrong they actually are. As we know it is not the cell phone use but distracted driving that leads to accidents. In other words, people who don't pay attention to what they are doing will cause traffic accidents. Yes sir, these guys are indeed rocket scientists.
 

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Re: Study Shows Traffic Tickets Could Save Drivers’ Lives (Richard Hurts)

I don't believe a word that ABC News says. They are the most corrupt news organization this side of Al-Jazeera. I take this with a grain of salt just like every other story they produce. I wonder which advertiser they are trying to please by publishing this BS?
 
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