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Tougher penalties credited for fewer casualties among young male drivers
Date:6/6/2014

A new study out of Western University (London, Canada) has found a significant decline in speeding-related fatalities and injuries among young men in Ontario since the province's tough extreme speeding and aggressive driving laws were introduced in 2007. The study found a sustained reduction of about 58 speeding-related injuries and fatalities a month among males aged 16-24. That means about 700 fewer young men have been injured or killed in speeding-related crashes yearly since the law was passed.

The study led by Evelyn Vingilis, PhD, a professor in Family Medicine, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, evaluated the deterrent impact of Ontario's Street Racers, Stunt, and Aggressive Drivers Legislation (Bill 203) and found it is making a difference, not only in the number of convictions but also in reducing the number of collisions.

Under the law,* drivers caught going 50 kph over the speed limit or engaging in improper actions that constitute a driving stunt, contest, or race can immediately have their licences suspended and their vehicles impounded for seven days. Upon conviction, they also face a fine of $2,000-$10,000, licence suspension for up to two years or six demerit points, and the possibility of up to six months in jail. The penalties get even more severe with a second conviction.

"First of all we looked at males and females, and then we looked at younger and older individuals because we know from my earlier research, that street racing and extreme speeding is an activity that typically younger males are more likely to engage in," said Vingilis. "What we found was a substantial reduction in the number of convictions for extreme speeding for males, and no change for females because they were pretty low any way. And importantly, we found a significant decrease in the number of motor vehicle casualties of males 16 to 24 -quite a significant reduction."

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Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert  

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