Bunching on the Autobahn?

Christian Traxler publishes new research on speeding responses to a 'notched' penalty scheme.

Do drivers adjust their behaviour to avoid stiffer speeding penalties? In a 'notched' penalty system like in Germany, where penalties increase in a step-like system, drivers who break the speed limit stay just below the threshold so as to avoid the next level of penalties, according to new research by Christian Traxler, Professor of Economics.

The phenomenon is known as “bunching,” where drivers tend to speed at or just below certain penalty thresholds. Traxler and his colleagues Franz G. Westermaier (University of Wuppertal, Germany) and Ansgar Wohlschlegel (University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom) analysed over 150,000 speeding tickets from the German Autobahn and 290,000 speed measures from a traffic monitoring system.

Their results were recently published in the Journal of Public Economics, “Bunching on the Autobahn? Speeding responses to a 'notched' penalty scheme,” which can be accessed here.

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