Oct 24, 2012

Change in Traffic Law

I evaluate the effects of a new road traffic law in the Czech Republic that became effective on July 1, 2006. The law brought in tougher punishments through introduction of demerit point system and manifold increase in fines, together with augmented authority of the policemen on the spot. I find a sharp 33.3 percent (s.e. 10.8) decrease in accident-related fatalities during the first three months. This translates into 34 to 239 saved lives with 95 percent certainty. Sadly, my estimates of the effects beyond the first year are zero (s.e. 5.8). Unique data on traffic police activity indicate, that resources on enforcement were decaying in the aftermath of the change in law and that the traffic police may have shifted its focus towards more general enforcement activities.

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