Canadian researchers have found that implementing swift and severe penalties has led to a drastic reduction in casualties among young male drivers in the country.
"What we found was a substantial reduction in the number of convictions for extreme speeding for males, and no change for females because they were pretty low any way. And importantly, we found a significant decrease in the number of motor vehicle casualties of males 16 to 24 -quite a significant reduction," said Vingilis.
Vingilis says the study's findings support deterrence theory to the effect that certain, swift and severe sanctions can deter risky driving behaviour.
The research, conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), looked at data from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2011. The law came into effect September 30, 2007, enabling the researchers to compare the data before and after implementation. From the time the new law came into force to the end of 2011, more than 24,000 drivers' licences were suspended for violating the new street racing legislation, nearly 8,500 of them in the first year alone.
For the 16 to 24 year old male drivers, 1.21% of licensed drivers had their licences suspended, along with .37 percent of mature males (aged 25-64). That contrasted with .21 percent for 16-24 year old female drivers and .07 percent for 25-64 year old women.