On 24 April 2017, fines for the most serious speeding offences increased from 100% to 150% of relevant weekly income in England and Wales. In this paper we establish whether this policy saved lives. Using data on all road accidents reported to police we evaluate the effects of this increased financial penalty using a two-year bandwidth and applying Regression Discontinuity in Time and Difference-in-Difference methods. Overall, we find no evidence of reduced serious or fatal accidents following the policy, indicating most drivers are not significantly changing their risky behaviours when confronted with higher penalties. There is, however, some evidence of fewer accidents in more economically advantaged areas. This suggests that drivers are responding to the amount of the fine increase rather than the income share and wealthier drivers are therefore more affected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100311
JournalEconomics of Transportation
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Accident severity
  • Britain
  • Driver behaviour
  • Fines
  • Road accidents
  • Speed


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