A Radical Change in Traffic Law: Effects on Fatalities in the Czech Republic

Journal of Public Health 36: 539-545.

CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 484

42 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2013 Last revised: 13 Sep 2018

See all articles by Josef Montag

Josef Montag

Charles University, Faculty of Law - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2013

Abstract

I evaluate the effects of a new road traffic law in the Czech Republic that became effective on July 1, 2006. The law introduced tougher punishments through the introduction of a demerit point system and a manifold increase in fines, together with an augmented authority of traffic police. I find a sharp, 33.3 percent, decrease in accident-related fatalities during the first three post-reform months. This translates into 51 to 204 saved lives with 95 percent certainty. The decline was, however, temporary; estimates of the effects going beyond the first year are around zero. Unique data on traffic police activity reveal that police resources devoted to traffic law enforcement gradually declined and were shifted towards general law enforcement.

Keywords: traffic law, traffic fatalities, policy evaluation, deterrence, enforcement

JEL Classification: I12, I18, K42, R41

Suggested Citation

Montag, Josef, A Radical Change in Traffic Law: Effects on Fatalities in the Czech Republic (April 1, 2013). Journal of Public Health 36: 539-545.; CERGE-EI Working Paper Series No. 484. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2257405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2257405

Josef Montag (Contact Author)

Charles University, Faculty of Law - Department of Economics ( email )

nam. Curieovych 7
Prague 1, 11640
Czech Republic

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