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Journal Article


Dong H, Jia N, Tian J, Ma S. Accid. Anal. Prev. 2019; 131: 171-179.


Institute of Systems Engineering, College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China.


(Copyright © 2019, Elsevier Publishing)






Many countries have adopted penalty point systems (PPS) to deter drivers from breaking traffic laws. To investigate the effectiveness of PPS on reducing illegal driving behavior, this study analyzed traffic violation data of a Chinese city in 2017. This analysis revealed that 1) risky driving behaviors (RDBs) are among the main causes of traffic violations and 2) almost half of the offenders with multiple violations committed the same traffic rule violations more than once. To further explain these phenomena, a survey in another Chinese city-Tianjin-was conducted. Considering the fact that most types of RDBs will, if detected by the authorities, result in traffic violations, the present study investigated the influence of a PPS, represented by penalty experience (PE), on traffic violation behaviors from the perspective of RDBs. Moreover, the impact of cognitive processes on driving behaviors via self-efficacy was considered. We found that drivers' PE is positively associated with their RDBs and that offenders with more PE are more inclined to commit RDBs; we further observed that self-efficacy partially mediates the relationship between PE and RDBs. However, no gender difference in the effect of PE on RDBs was discovered, thus indicating that PE has the same effect on male and female drivers. Based on these findings, some strategies are suggested (such as the Increasing Block Penalty Points Policy) to improve the effectiveness of the PPS.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Penalty experience; Penalty point system; Risky driving behaviors; Self-Efficacy


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