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Assessing the Safety Effects of Excessive Speeding Legislation in Canada Open Access


Other title
Fatal Collisions
Excessive Speeding Legislation
Licence Suspensions
Vehicle Impoundment Law
ARIMA Intervention Analysis
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gargoum, Suliman
Supervisor and department
El-Basyouny Karim (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
El-Rich, Marwan (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Kim, Amy (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Transportation Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Three Canadian provinces, namely, British Columbia (BC), Ontario (ON) and Quebec (QC), introduced legislation to counteract drivers who exceed speed limits by unacceptable margins. The legislation involved the immediate suspension of the driver’s licence, vehicle impoundment, hefty fines and demerit points. The legislation has been in effect for a few years now, and the fatality counts seem to have dropped since the inception of the law. However, no statistical evidence has been provided to support such claims. Thus, the primary goal of this thesis is to perform an ARIMA time-series intervention analysis of collision data from the three provinces to help understand the safety benefits of this excessive speed legislation in Canada. Moreover, the thesis provides a framework for statistical assessment of legislative changes in general and develops statistical models, which can be used for accident prediction in the three provinces. Time series are frequently affected by policy changes, such as the aforementioned legislation; these policy changes are usually referred to as interventions. Interventions can affect the response in several different ways. These effects include changing the level of the series either abruptly or long-term, changing the trend of the series, or having other, more complicated, effects on the series. In this thesis, an intervention analysis of the collision data, at different severity levels, from the three provinces was conducted. The analysis aims to identify any changes in the time series behaviour of the collision data after the implementation of the intervention (legislation). Potential changes were assessed for statistical significance, and the magnitude of the change was quantified in each case. The analysis was also performed on collision data while accounting for exposure, and similar findings were reached. In the process, twelve different models were developed for all provinces, and another set of models was also developed while accounting for exposure effects. Overall, it was found that a statistically significant drop in fatal collisions occurred in two of the three provinces (BC and ON) after implementing the new policy. In QC, a statistically significant drop was observed in injury, property-damage-only (PDO) and total collision counts; however, these drops could not be fully credited to the new policy alone, as a new distracted driving law was also implemented at the same time. With respect to injury, PDO and total collisions in BC and ON, changes in the series associated with the policy varied and so did their statistical significance. In general, the findings imply that the excessive speeding legislation was effective in reducing province-wide fatal collisions, indicating a general deterrence effect. The effects of the policy on other types of collisions (injury, PDO and total) are inconclusive. Further analysis, when more post-intervention data is available, could reveal more information regarding the effects of the policy on those types of crashes. Moreover, when combined with other laws and policies, the excessive speeding law could potentially be effective in reducing injury, PDO and total collision counts; this finding, however, would require further testing and investigation.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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