Saturday, April 21, 2007

Slow down while driving through Podunk

From the latest Atlantic Monthly (no idea if this is available to non-subscribers or not) -- The Out-of-Towners.
Savvy tourists don’t need a regression analysis to know that they should ease off the gas when they come to a Podunk town, but two George Mason University professors now have the proof. By examining 29,752 speeding citations issued in April and May 2001 in Massachusetts, they found that who and where you are matters as much as how fast you’re going. An out-of-town driver stopped by a police officer in any given area has a 51 percent chance of getting slapped with a fine, versus 30 percent for a local, and the average fine for an out-of-towner is $5 higher. Local police are 10 percent more likely to fine out-of-town drivers and 20 percent more likely to fine out-of-staters, while state troopers ticket out-of-state drivers at a rate 28 percent higher than in-staters. The poorer the town (in terms of property-tax receipts), the more likely its cops are to target drivers passing through; fines also increase the farther away drivers live, since distance makes them less likely to contest the ticket. The study also found that women are more likely to get off with a warning, though the gender advantage disappears around age 75.
Or, just speed up and help Hicksville pay its cops' salaries :)

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