THE TRAFFIC SAFETY IMPACT OF TRAFFIC VIOLATOR SCHOOL CITATION DISMISSALS. FINAL REPORT

This study identified and compared two large samples of drivers who either completed a Traffic Violator School (TVS) (N=23,578) or were convicted of a traffic citation (N=38,131) during the period 1987-1989. Prior to adjudication, the TVS group had characteristics that were predictive of a lower subsequent accident expectancy (lower prior accident rate, lower prior conviction rate, higher proportion of females, and lower proportion of professional drivers). Despite this finding, the TVS group had significantly more accidents than did the conviction group in the subsequent one-year period. This difference (7.1% increase) increased to 10.2% when adjusted for the more favorable preexisting characteristics of the TVS group. Part of the increase in subsequent accident rate was attributed to the loss in general and specific deterrence resulting from the non-conviction masked status of the citation. It was estimated, for example, that 13,000 TVS graduates each year avoid DMV license control actions because the dismissals do not receive a point count pursuant to the state's negligent operator law. It was also found that the masked status of the TVS dismissal distorts the actuarial validity of the driver record in estimating a driver's future accident risk and in determining a driver's eligibility for a "good driver" discount pursuant to the state's insurance code. The report offered the following two recommendations for lessening the detrimental impact of TVS policy: (a) assign negligent-operator points to all TVS dismissals, and (b) unmask the original TVS dismissal whenever a driver receives a second TVS dismissal or subsequent traffic conviction in 18 months.

  • Corporate Authors:

    California Department of Motor Vehicles

    Research and Development Branch
    P.O. Box 932382
    Sacramento, CA  United States  94232-3820
  • Authors:
    • Peck, R C
    • Gebers, M A
  • Publication Date: 1991-11

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 40 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00620629
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CAL-DMV-RSS-91-133, HS-041 354
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1996 12:00AM