ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

SELF-REPORTED BEHAVIOUR AND PERCEPTIONS OF ENFORCEMENT

Read, Shari, Kirby, Gary

Drink/Drug Driving

2002

The past five years have seen a positive shift in the number of Western Australian drivers who admit to driving after drinking or not wearing a seatbelt while driving. Weekly community surveys in Western Australia have revealed that an overwhelming majority of drivers say that they never drive without wearing a seatbelt or if they think they might be over the legal blood-alcohol limit. However, there has also been a steady decrease in concern for the penalties associated with drink driving and restraint use and the perceived likelihood of being caught by Police for these behaviours. The obvious explanation is that the lack of concern for penalties and detection arises from the relative infrequency of the offending behaviours. Yet, crash statistics continue to reveal that drink driving and non-use of restraints are two of the primary factors involved in fatal crashes on WA roads. This paper explores the relationship between self-reported behaviours and perceptions of enforcement. Do perceptions of enforcement reflect behaviour or is the perception constructed to support the behaviour?