ERIC Number: EJ759372
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: N/A
Do Speed Cameras Produce Net Benefits? Evidence from British Columbia, Canada
Chen, Greg; Warburton, Rebecca N.
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v25 n3 p661-678 Sum 2006
Traffic collisions kill about 43,000 Americans a year. Worldwide, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death by injury and the ninth leading cause of all deaths. Photo Radar speed enforcement has been implemented in the United States and many other industrialized countries, yet its cost-effectiveness from a societal viewpoint, taking all significant impacts into account, has not been reported. This paper fills this gap, reporting on a Photo Radar traffic safety program introduced in 1996 in British Columbia, Canada, and incorporating the results of rigorous statistical analyses on speed and crash impacts into a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis from both societal and sponsoring-agency perspectives. The study reveals that the Rhoto Radar Program cost C$27 million per year in 2001 Canadian dollars (?US$21 million) and generated benefits valued at $142 million per year (?US$109 million), for net societal benefits of C$115 million per year (?US$88 million). It was estimated that the sponsoring agency saved C$38 million (?US$29 million) annually in claim costs. These results are robust to plausible alternate assumptions. Societal net benefits become negative only if the reduction in injuries and fatalities is one standard error below the expected value, or if private travel time is valued at or above C$15 per hour. Agency claim cost savings are greater than program costs under all scenarios tested. These results are likely applicable to jurisdictions in developed countries with similar traffic infrastructure: Greater use of highway photo radar speed enforcement would be good public policy.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Foreign Countries, Program Costs, Public Policy, Electronic Equipment, Traffic Safety, Injuries, Developed Nations, Death, Photography, Cost Effectiveness, Statistical Analysis, Mortality Rate, Law Enforcement, Community Benefits
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/browse/?type=JOURNAL
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States