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Catching or Fining Speeders: A Political Economy Approach

24 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2007  

Eef Delhaye

Transport & Mobility Leuven; KU Leuven - Energy Transport and Environment (ETE)

Stef Proost

KU Leuven - Department of Economics

Sandra Rousseau

KU Leuven - Brussels Campus

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

According to Becker (1968) it is best to use very high fines and low inspection probabilities to deter traffic accidents because inspection is costly. This paper uses a political economy model to analyse the choice of the fine and the inspection probability. There are two lobby groups: the vulnerable road users and the 'strong' road users. If only vulnerable road users are effective in lobbying, we find that the expected fine is higher than if only the interests of car drivers are taken into account. When we consider the choice between inspection probability and the magnitude of the fine for a given expected fine, we find that the fine preferred by the vulnerable road users is higher than socially optimal. The reverse holds if only the car drivers are effective lobbyists. The orders of magnitude are illustrated numerically for speeding and contrasted with current fines for drunk driving in the European Union.

Keywords: Political economy, enforcement, traffic safety

Suggested Citation

Delhaye, Eef and Proost, Stef and Rousseau, Sandra, Catching or Fining Speeders: A Political Economy Approach (April 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024668 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1024668

Eef Delhaye (Contact Author)

Transport & Mobility Leuven ( email )

Vital Decosterstraat 67A bus 0001
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

KU Leuven - Energy Transport and Environment (ETE) ( email )

Belgium

Stef V. Proost

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
016 32 66 35 (Phone)
016 32 67 96 (Fax)

Sandra Rousseau

KU Leuven - Brussels Campus ( email )

Warmoesberg 26
Brussel, 1000
Belgium

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