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A longitudinal investigation of psychosocial risk factors for speeding offences among young motor car drivers

Abstract

This is a report on a project partially funded by the Criminology Research Council. The original title of the research project, in the names of Peter Palamara and Mark Stevenson, was 'A longitudinal investigation of psychosocial risk factors for speeding offences among young motor car drivers'. Speeding is commonly recognised as problem behaviour among young novice drivers and a major risk factor for their involvement in crashes. This study undertook a descriptive analysis of the speeding offences and demerit points incurred by a sample cohort of 1,277 young West Australian drivers over 36 months of licensing. Statistical modelling of offences and demerit points accumulated at 12, 24 and 36 months post-licensing was also undertaken to determine the effect of driver behaviour and psychosocial factors. The results show that males and drivers who are predisposed to risk taking, perceive themselves as confident and adventurous drivers and engage in other health risk behaviours have a significantly higher risk of incurring speeding offences up to 36 months post-licensing. Penalties for speeding appeared to have little impact on the risk factors for speeding or the likelihood of re-offending for some drivers. A number of recommendations are made for managing speeding behaviour among young novice drivers.

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