Better to teach than to deter if you cannot do both: Investigating the effects of education and fines on future traffic offences and collisions

  • Author / Creator
    Koziel, Jakob
  • No evaluations have been conducted to determine whether Option 4, an Albertan driver education workshop, is effective in reducing future traffic violations and collisions when compared to fines. This thesis followed cohorts of Albertan traffic offenders (N = 1,707), one group who received a traffic fine (n = 1,297) and another which completed an Option 4 workshop (n = 410), one or so year(s) after they committed a traffic violation during two (Campaign one = May 14th and 22nd, 2017, Campaign Two = October 8th and October 14th, 2017) law enforcement campaigns. The goals of this thesis were to: (a) identify offender characteristics associated with Option 4 participation (Study 1), and (b) model time until the occurrence of a violation (Study 2) or a collision (Study 3) one and a half years after either receiving a fine or completing Option 4. For studies 2 and 3, we also established a control group of offenders who did not choose either intervention and only received a fine. Information was extracted from the PROS, JOIN, ROADS, and Enforcement Services Records Management databases and was merged with the 2016 Canadian census to determine median household income. Study 1 included the percentage of offenders who chose to participate in Option 4 versus those who received a fine and fitted logistic regression models with the choice of receiving a fine or participating in Option 4 as the outcome variable. Studies 2 and 3 included the percentages of offenders who had a follow up violation and collision and used survival analysis to model time to subsequent violations and collisions between the fine and Option 4 groups. Proportional hazard models evaluated the impacts of taking option 4 versus receiving a fine. Results from study one showed that 37% of offenders chose to participate in Option 4 while the remainder (63%) chose to receive a fine. After controlling for our predictors (age, geography, median area income, sex, campaign/season, prior collisions, prior violations), offenders were more likely to participate in Option 4 if they participated in the second campaign (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.16, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.63, 2.85), committed a distracted driving (AOR = 2.52, 95% CI: 1.32, 4.82), and/or failure to stop at a stop sign violation (AOR = 11.85, 95% CI: 4.73, 29.73) two years before being stopped during one of the campaigns. Offenders in their twenties (AOR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.69) and offenders who committed a violation classified as “other” (AOR = 0.49, 95% CI: 0.28, 0.87) were less likely to participate in Option 4. In the survival analysis, we found evidence that, compared to all offenders who received a fine, participating in Option 4 reduced the hazard of committing a violation one and a half years later (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 0.56, 95% CI: 0.44, 0.72). We also found evidence that female offenders (AHR = 1.24, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.47), as well as offenders who committed one (AHR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.31, 1.98), two or more (AHR = 3.35, 95% CI: 2.74, 4.09) violations prior to being stopped during one of the campaigns had the highest risk for future violations. Study 3 found no evidence that completing Option 4 reduced the risk of being involved in a collision one and a half years later. Offenders who committed 2 or more violations two years before being stopped (AHR = 1.98, 95% CI: 1.16, 3.38) were more likely to be involved in a future collision, while offenders who were 19 years or younger (AHR = 5.39, 95% CI: 2.24, 12.97), in their thirties (AHR = 2.28, 95% CI: 1.01, 5.13) and forties (AHR = 3.10, 95% CI: 1.41, 6.78 ) were also more likely to be involved in a collision when compared to offenders 50 years or older. Offenders who received fines, without a choice to participate in Option 4, had a reduced risk (AHR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.34, 0.96) of being involved in a collision one year later as compared with offenders who willingly chose a fine. Option 4 is effective in reducing the risk of future violations. As such, this thesis recommends continuing and expanding Option 4 programming throughout Alberta alongside issuing fines.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.