Un-Ticketing: An Upside-Down Approach to Speed Compliance TR-759

Conventional approaches to achieving compliance with speed limits are almost always punitive: speeders are intercepted and punished through fines or other sanctions. Nevertheless, psychological research and practical experience have shown that penalties and rewards are equally powerful motivators of human behavior. "Un-Ticketed" is an experiment to explore whether it is possible to improve speed compliance by incentivizing good behavior (in addition to punishing bad behavior). Specifically, the project will be a collaboration with one or more local police departments to implement a contest where randomly-selected drivers who comply with the speed limit in a problem corridor are rewarded with gift cards donated by local businesses. Traffic speeds will be monitored before, during, and after the intervention to identify impacts on speeds, and drivers will be surveyed to identify possible changes in attitudes about speeding. A guide will be produced to aid Iowa communities in applying this intervention. The main objective of this study is to determine whether an intervention that provides positive reinforcement of speed limit compliance results in a measurable reduction in traffic speeds (or a change in driver attitudes) in the study area. To accomplish this objective the following actions will be taken: (1) Identify corridors suitable for implementation of the Un-Ticketing concept based on existing safety and speed compliance problems, physical suitability for traffic speed monitoring, support from local police and other officials, and support from businesses located along the corridor. (2) Conduct speed monitoring in collaboration with local police, record the license plate numbers of randomly-selected compliant drivers, and send the winning drivers "Un-Tickets" (gift cards). (3) Measure traffic speeds before, during and after the Un-Ticketing program. (4) Survey drivers in the study area about speeding and traffic safety attitudes before, during, and after the Un-Ticketing program.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $50000
  • Contract Numbers:


    Add 668

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Iowa Department of Transportation

    800 Lincoln Way
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Managing Organizations:

    Iowa State University, Ames

    Center for Transportation Research and Education
    2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
    Ames, IA  United States  50010-8664
  • Project Managers:

    Goetz, Vanessa

  • Principal Investigators:

    Shaw, John

  • Start Date: 20181001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210331
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01682841
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: TR-759, Add 668
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 10 2018 1:59PM