Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Fines and disqualification do not reduce offending

Fines and disqualification do not reduce offending, says major study.

A government policy to disqualify drivers who don't pay traffic fines is doomed to failure, says the car review website dogandlemon.com

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

"Fines and the threat of disqualification have little effect on driver behaviour, and often make a bad situation worse. Fines work as a deterrent for middle-class people with reasonable incomes.  However, they are often largely ineffective against the two highest risk groups of road users – teenagers and poor people."

Matthew-Wilson’s conclusions are backed up by most available studies, including the largest study of fines as a deterrent ever conducted in Australia, which also concluded that higher fines do not reduce the risk of re-offending.

The study, carried out by the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, identified 70,000 NSW persons who received a court-imposed fine for a driving offence between 1998 and 2000. Researchers then followed each offender for a period of five years to see whether they committed another driving offence.

After controlling for a wide range of other factors likely to influence re-offending, the Bureau found no relationship between the magnitude for the fine imposed and the likelihood of a further driving offence.

The same negative result was obtained for drink-drive (PCA) offences, drive while disqualified offences, exceeding the speed limit and ‘other’ driving offences.

For most of these offences the Bureau also found no relationship between the period of license disqualification and the risk of a further driving offence.

For speeding offences, longer disqualification periods actually made the situation worse because it increased the risk that the offender would drive illegally.

Commenting on the findings, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that they were consistent with a large body of evidence indicating that, contrary to popular opinion, tougher penalties do not reduce the risk of re-offending.

Matthew-Wilson adds:

“The bureaucrats who come up with our road safety strategies are generally white, middle-class and middle-aged. They see life as a series of planned steps and have little idea of how young people and poor people think or act. In a typical case a student will own an old car and the WOF will run out. While he’s sorting out a WOF, the car gets a ticket. Because he hasn’t got a warrant, he can’t register his car, so he gets a ticket for that as well. Next thing enforcement fees are added. Then the bailiffs are after him. Then he gets disqualified.”

“Nothing is gained as a result of this. The studies are quite clear: the drivers most likely to get tickets are the least likely to be able to pay them. Neither fines nor disqualification will make the slightest difference, but may make the situation worse. That's not just my opinion; that's what virtually every study anywhere has shown.”

“A decade or so ago, a survey of young people who drove to a Northland training course showed that 92% had no license. 20% of these people couldn’t get a license because they were illiterate. You can’t say these people are simply criminals; they are part of the great messy underbelly of New Zealand culture. You can fine them, but you simply make criminals out of people whose main crime was growing up in a poor area.”

“Driver training and life skills training for the poor would be a far better use of taxpayers’ money. It’s time to focus on what works, not on what sounds right to some bureaucrat.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news