Assessing the Safety Effects of Excessive Speeding Legislation in Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Gargoum, Suliman
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • 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.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Transportation Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • El-Basyouny Karim (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • El-Rich, Marwan (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
    • Kim, Amy (Civil & Environmental Engineering)