Better enforcement is essential, but may be inadequate: Findings of a survey on the factors affecting payment of speeding fines in Cape Town, South Africa

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP03/2021
 
Publication date: March 2021
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
 
Abstract:

While a large body of research has established that effective enforcement of speeding laws is essential for reducing the economic and social costs of road accidents, some studies have suggested that interventions aimed at moral beliefs about speeding and peer-related and other social contagion effects may be important complements to law enforcement activities. This article presents tentative evidence of the complementary nature of interventions to influence moral beliefs and steps to strengthen the enforcement of traffic laws. It does this by presenting and discussing the results of a survey that elicited information about the attitudes of motorists in Cape Town regarding speeding fines and aspects of the administration of traffic laws in South Africa. The self-reported fine-paying of the respondents correlates with instrumental factors shaped by the effectiveness of enforcement actions (e.g. compliance and monetary costs) as well as normative factors influenced by the moral beliefs of drivers and their social groups as well as the perceived legitimacy of traffic laws and officials. Regression results also provide evidence of a statistically significant relationship between the respondents' self-reported fine-paying behaviour and their moral beliefs regarding payment of speeding fines.

 
JEL Classification:

R41, R48

Keywords:

Road safety, speeding laws, law enforcement, South Africa, AARTO Act

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