Reducing traffic violations in minority localities: Designing a traffic enforcement program through a public participation process

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The current study tests an innovative public participation process for designing and implementing a tailored traffic enforcement program in minority localities. The quasi-experiment used two matched pairs of randomly selected Israeli Arab localities, where one locality in each pair was randomly assigned to the experimental group and the other to the control group. The intervention's main features were the public participation process and implementation by police of the traffic enforcement program designed during the process. Systematic field observations on 12,236 vehicles in the four localities found a meaningful and significant reduction in traffic violations in the experimental localities following the intervention, while a small increase in violations was observed in the control localities. The most meaningful decline, indicating improvement in drivers’ behavior, was in non-use of seatbelts and small children in the front seat. The study suggests that a public participation process which identifies local road traffic problems and “dark” hot spots (places where offenses and risky behavior recur but might not be known to the police), followed by implementing tailored solutions for these problems, can reduce traffic violations. Future research should aim to separate out the independent effects of the two phases (the public participation process and tailored enforcement).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by The Research Fund on Insurance Matters affiliated with the Israel Insurance Association . Thanks are due to the Israeli police, the local councils of the experimental localities, the research team and observers, and to the participants of the public participation process.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Dark hot spots
  • Ethnic and racial minorities
  • Public participation process
  • Road traffic crashes
  • Traffic enforcement
  • Traffic violations


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