How Do Drivers Evaluate Fine for Different Traffic Offences? A Literature Study

The most common sanction for most traffic offences in Sweden is a fine, but it is only one of several sanction options for society. If one is caught driving without a safety belt, and other similar minor traffic offences, the sanction is a fine of fixed sum. For minor speeding offences a fixed sum is therefore charged. It is only for excessive speeding that the driving license will be withdrawn for a shorter or longer period. For drunken driving a monetary fine will be applied, i.e. a fine assessed on the basis of the defendant's daily income, and if the drunken driving is deemed to be excessive the driver will be sentenced to imprisonment and the driving license may be withdrawn for at least one year. The question is what effect the precise size of a fine, i.e. the monetary amount, has for the prevention of crime. How do drivers evaluate the current fine sums, and when are they felt to be really heavy? The project documented here is a literature review on this topic. The result from the literature review shows that relatively few studies have addressed the effect of fines. Some studies have examined a combination of increased surveillance and fines, which makes it hard to separate the individual effect of a fine. The material surveyed in the review did, however, indicate that most studies reject the proposition that the size of the fine has a decisive importance. Several studies indicate that even a doubling of the fine, and heavy fines in general, have no effect whatsoever on speeding. Many studies show instead that to increase the fines or other sanctions has an effect only in combination with an increased risk of detection. Even if the drivers are aware of the increased sanctions they will not modify their behaviour in traffic unless they also at least subjectively perceive that the risk of detection is great. A number of studies even report on tests with alternatives to the customary sanctions.


  • Swedish

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 31p
  • Serial:
    • VTI Rapport
    • Publisher: Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
    • ISSN: 0347-6030

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01052027
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VTI rapport 574
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 26 2007 4:23PM