Do you think traffic tickets work?

What would you do if you were responsible for traffic safety?

The aim of traffic enforcement is not to raise revenue for the government.

Too often I hear the words “cash grab” in relation to traffic tickets.

Like it or not, this is our current system for attempting to dissuade drivers from practicing behaviours that put themselves or others at risk on our highways.

Money is an efficient tool to assign value to something and we have a well organized system for transferring it. The traffic laws codify how we are to behave when we drive and the ticketing system provides the deterrent by setting a value based on the risk involved in the particular bad behaviour.

Penalty points are a negative reinforcement for those who fail to follow the rules more frequently.

Is this a good system?

Like anything else, it depends on your point of view. If you are the recipient of a ticket I doubt that you are likely to be pleased.

If you are a recipient of the effects of poor driving behaviour, perhaps you feel that it doesn’t go far enough. It’s not perfect, but it is what we have.

So, what would you do if you were responsible for traffic safety? Would you make small changes or institute a completely different system for encouraging safe driving?

Send your thoughts to tickets@drivesmartbc.ca and I will post them with this article on the DriveSmartBC website.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

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