Criminal Deterrence When There are Offsetting Risks: Traffic Cameras, Vehicular Accidents, and Public Safety

Citation data:

SSRN Electronic Journal

Publication Year:
2017
Usage 1139
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SSRN
SSRN Id:
3078079
DOI:
10.2139/ssrn.3078079
Author(s):
Justin Gallagher; Paul J. Fisher
Publisher(s):
Elsevier BV
Tags:
criminal deterrence; electronic surveillance; public safety; vehicle accidents
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article description
Numerous cities have enacted electronic monitoring programs at traffic intersections in an effort to reduce the high number of vehicle accidents. The rationale is that the higher expected fines for running a red light will induce drivers to stop and lead to fewer cross-road collisions. However, the cameras also incentivize drivers to accept a greater accident risk from stopping. We evaluate the termination of a monitoring program via a voter referendum using 12 years of geo-coded police accident data. We find that the cameras changed the composition of accidents, but no evidence of a reduction in total accidents or injuries.