A theoretical model of the process of general deterrence is constructed, and tested against data collected as part of an evaluation of the impact of the introduction of random breath testing in New South Wales, Australia in December 1982. The model entails a specifiction of the causal links betwen police activity and media publicity, and behavior change. The model goes beyond utility theory in the conceptulization of the processes whereby an individual may choose between driving after drinking and alternative modes of action. Data were derived from two surveys of the general population conducted within four months of the introduction of RBT, and inlcuded a longitudinal component (185 dirinking motorists were reinterviewed after 6 weeks). Despite problems of measurement, the theoretical model was strongly supported for the short term impact of RBT. It is concluded that deterrence is an unstable process, and that the long term deterrent impact of measures like RBT depends mainly on the level of continual, visible police enforcement.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Macquarie University, Australia

    School of Economic and Financial Studies, Balaclava Road
    North Ryde, New South Wales,   Australia 

    Department of Transport, Australia

    Office of Road Safety, P.O. Box 594
    Canberra, A.C.T. 2601,   Australia 
  • Authors:
    • HOMEL, R
  • Publication Date: 1986-2-28

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 191 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00495897
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • ISBN: 0-642-51290-6
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-039 687
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1990 12:00AM