Regulating Traffic Safety


211 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-6764-6
DDC 363.12'56




Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeffrey Moon is Documents Reference/Data Centre Librarian at Queen’s


This book was conceived by its authors as part of a larger examination
of sanctions and rewards in the legal system. The authors initially
assumed that traffic safety would provide a wealth of statistics and
existing research; they found this assumption to be false. What the
authors do, in view of this lack, is take an epidemiological approach
toward the broad-ranging problem of traffic-related injury and death.

The book is logically organized according to two types of
countermeasures. Driver-centred measures focus on sanctions, civil
liability, rewards, licencing, and education. Environment-centred
measures focus on economic variables, vehicle safety, highway safety,
and postaccident medical care.

By adopting an epidemiological approach, the authors provide evidence
that certain “standard” safety strategies may prove less effective
than others, particularly when cost-effectiveness is considered. The
cost-benefit focus sets this work apart. How can society best spend its
limited funds to increase traffic safety?

A rich notes sections (more than fifty pages) and effective use of
available statistics (Canadian, U.S., and international) provide the
underpinnings of this well-researched book. For anyone with even a mild
interest in this vital subject, this book provides a fascinating,
coherent investigation of a major societal problem


Friedland, Martin., “Regulating Traffic Safety,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 15, 2024,