Criminal Deterrence When There are Offsetting Risks: Traffic Cameras, Vehicular Accidents, and Public Safety

47 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2017  

Justin Gallagher

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Paul J. Fisher

University of Arizona

Date Written: November 17, 2017

Abstract

Numerous cities have enacted electronic monitoring programs at traffic intersections in an effort to reduce the high number of vehicle accidents. The rationale is that the higher expected fines for running a red light will induce drivers to stop and lead to fewer cross-road collisions. However, the cameras also incentivize drivers to accept a greater accident risk from stopping. We evaluate the termination of a monitoring program via a voter referendum using 12 years of geo-coded police accident data. We find that the cameras changed the composition of accidents, but no evidence of a reduction in total accidents or injuries.

Keywords: criminal deterrence, electronic surveillance, public safety, vehicle accidents

JEL Classification: H27, H71, K32, R28, R41

Suggested Citation

Gallagher, Justin and Fisher, Paul J., Criminal Deterrence When There are Offsetting Risks: Traffic Cameras, Vehicular Accidents, and Public Safety (November 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3078079 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3078079

Justin Gallagher (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management ( email )

364 PBL Building
Cleveland, OH 44106
United States

Paul Fisher

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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