Do Traffic Tickets Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2015, 34(1): 85-106
41 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2011 Last revised: 22 Nov 2015
Date Written: November 5, 2013
This paper analyzes the effect of traffic tickets on motor vehicle accidents. OLS estimates may be upward-biased because police officers tend to focus on areas where and periods when there is heavy traffic and thus higher rates of accidents. This paper exploits the dramatic increase in tickets during the Click-it-or-Ticket campaign to identify the causal impact of tickets on accidents using data from Massachusetts. I find that tickets significantly reduce accidents and non-fatal injuries. I provide suggestive evidence that tickets have a larger impact at night and on female drivers.
Keywords: traffic tickets, motor vehicle accidents, natural experiment
JEL Classification: K32, K42, R41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation