Western University research shows a “significant” drop in the number of young men killed in speeding-related collisions in Ontario since the stunt driving law was 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 every year since the law was passed.
Dr. Evelyn Vingilis said the law has brought a reduction in speeding convictions and collisions, supporting deterrence theory.
“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 anyway,” she said. “And importantly, we found a significant decrease in the number of motor vehicle casualties of males 16 to 24; quite a significant reduction.”
The research, conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), looked at data from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2011. The law came into effect September 30, 2007, enabling the researchers to compare the data before and after implementation. From the time the new law came into force to the end of 2011, more than 24,000 drivers’ licences were suspended for violating the new street racing legislation, nearly 8,500 of them in the first year alone.
The research team which included Aizhan Meirambayeva, Guangyong Zou, Yoassry Elzohairy, Ian McLeod, Jinkun Xiao, Yuanhao Lai and Vingilis, has had findings published online in advance by two journals: the study on casualties is in Accident Analysis & Prevention and the study on convictions is in Traffic Injury Prevention.
The research was funded with a grant from AUTO21, a member of the Networks of Centres of Excellence program, which is administered and funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), in partnership with Industry Canada.