Written by Gregory Monte.
While most would agree that speed is a factor in fatal car crashes, the issuance of speeding tickets by the police doesn’t seem to help alleviate this tragic situation much at all.
Let me state up front that I am not an academic researcher and that I did not do an “all-out” statistical analysis in order to come to the conclusion expressed in the previous sentence. Instead, I just used publicly available information and common sense to make my determination. If readers see any issue with what I lay out here in this blog post, I encourage them to provide feedback.
In fact, I want them to prove me wrong. I don’t claim to have all of the answers. The purpose of this blog is simply to present an alternate viewpoint when it comes to motor vehicle laws and traffic tickets.
Here are the top 10 states with the most dangerous roads (fatalities per 100,000 population):
- Mississippi – 21.2
- South Carolina – 20.34
- Alabama – 19.39
- Wyoming – 19.21
- New Mexico – 18.47
- Montana – 17.13
- Louisiana – 16.67
- West Virginia – 16.34
- Arkansas – 16.23
- Kentucky – 16.14
Here are the top 10 states that issued the most speeding tickets (per 10,000 population)
- Wyoming – 903.45
- South Carolina – 824.95
- Oregon – 665.76
- Georgia – 638.32
- Washington – 610.64
- Mississippi – 599.29
- Arizona – 566.56
- North Carolina – 534.31
- South Dakota – 519.54
- Utah – 504.57
Notice that three of the most dangerous states (Mississippi, Wyoming and South Carolina) are among the group of states that issued the most speeding tickets. Given this obvious fact, isn’t it reasonable to suggest that issuing speeding tickets in large amounts doesn’t have much of an affect on traffic fatalities?
Of course, it may also be reasonable to suggest that maybe the fatalities would be even higher if fewer speeding tickets were issued. But even so, the point I am making in this blog post is that more speeding tickets doesn’t necessarily lead to safer roads – the numbers quoted above make this very obvious.
How about the rest of the states that issue the most speeding tickets? Do they have safer roads?
Take a look for yourself …
South Dakota – 15th most dangerous roads – 16.62
Georgia – 16th most dangerous roads – 14.23
Arizona – 17th most dangerous roads – 14.13
North Carolina – 18th most dangerous roads – 14.03
Oregon – 26th most dangerous roads – 11.17
Utah – 40th most dangerous roads – 8.35
Washington – 45th most dangerous roads – 7.18
If the first set of statistics didn’t provide a conclusive answer to the question about speeding tickets and safe roads, this second set certainly does. Only 2 out of the 10 states that issue the most speeding tickets are include in the “Top Ten Safest Roads” list. The rest are basically in the bottom 50% of dangerous US roads. There does not seem to be a correlation between more speeding tickets and safer roads.
Incidentally, I am not claiming that issuing fewer tickets actually makes the roads safer – not at all. All I am saying is that, if you are going to argue that speeding tickets make the road safer, you had better have some other sources than the ones I located. The numbers presented here put into serious doubt the efficacy of issuing speeding tickets for public safety reasons.