Using social theory and GIS to create a safer road environment: A new attitude

Robert M. Arthur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the hypothesis that in order to create a safer road environment, there needs to be a change in the approach used by police services. A shift in methodology is required that moves away from punishment, such as issuing traffic tickets, and its attendant measures of success, total number of tickets issued or total amount of fines, to a safety-based methodology with its main emphasis on reducing collisions and their severity. This requires understanding the social context of driving and how dangerous driving is defined. This paper moves from these topics to describing deterrence theory which is the common philosophy underlying the criminal justice system today, including how the police handle traffic violations. A different approach is then presented which draws from these methods but changes the focus of police resource deployment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-375
Number of pages21
JournalTransportation Planning and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Deterrence theory
  • GIS
  • Policing
  • Traffic safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


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