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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news