How traffic law enforcement can contribute to safer roads

Carson, J.; Jost, G.; Meinero, M.

This report aims to compare the levels of traffic law enforcement between Member States. It uses as its main indicators the annual number of speeding tickets (Table 1), roadside alcohol breath tests (Table 4), tickets for non-use of seatbelt (Table 5) and tickets for illegal use of a mobile phone (Table 6) per head of population. It also uses as indicators an annual change (in %) in the number (per 1000 population) of speeding tickets (Fig.1a), drink-driving checks (Fig.3a), tickets for non-use of seatbelt (Fig.7a) and tickets for illegal use of a mobile phone (Fig.8a).
The ideal indicator on how to assess the level of enforcement would be to compare countries on the basis of time spent on enforcement or checks performed both by the police and by safety camera. For instance, GoSafe, the service provider contracted by the Irish Police, has to provide a minimum of 7,400 enforcement hours and a maximum of 100 survey hours per month across the country.2 Unfortunately this indicator is not available in most other countries other than for drink-driving. This report uses the number of tickets per 1000 inhabitants for speeding, non-use of seatbelt and illegal use of a mobile phone, assuming constant enforcement effort. Hence, an increase in the number of tickets in a country indicates an increase in enforcement activities. For drink-driving however, the report makes use of the number of roadside alcohol breath tests (not the number of tickets for drink-driving).
This report also includes the number of safety cameras per million inhabitants (Fig.2) and the proportion of speeding tickets that were generated by safety cameras (Table 1). Data on offences committed by non-residents are limited and available only in Austria, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain (Table 7).
The data used in the report were provided by the PIN panellists and the police. No information was received from Malta. Data are not available nationwide for Italy, Spain and the UK. Available data were used for these countries. Population data were retrieved from the Eurostat database. The full dataset is available in the Annexes.
The analysis builds on previous country rankings on the levels of enforcement in ETSC’s PIN Report 31 How Traffic Law Enforcement can Contribute to Safer Roads. Total number of deaths and serious injuries up to 2020 are available in ETSC’s 15th (2021) PIN Annual Report. These publications can be downloaded from

ETSC PIN Flash Report
20220402 ST [electronic version only]
Gepubliceerd door
European Transport Safety Council ETSC, Brussels

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