This paper examines the determinants of road traffic crash fatalities in Queensland for the period 1958–2007 using a state-space time-series model. In particular, we investigate the effects of policies that aimed to reduce drink-driving on traffic fatalities, as well as indicators of the economic environment that may affect exposure to traffic, and hence affect the number of accidents and fatalities. The results show that the introduction of a random breath testing program in 1988 was associated with a 11.3% reduction in traffic fatalities; its expansion in 1998 was associated with a 26.2% reduction in traffic fatalities; and the effect of the Safe4life" program, which was introduced in 2004, was a 14.3% reduction in traffic fatalities. Reductions in economic activity are also associated with reductions in road fatalities: we estimate that a one percent increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a 0.2% reduction in traffic fatalities.
Determinants of road traffic safety: New evidence from Australia using state-space analysis