ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Prevalence of unregistered driving and associated driver behaviours in Queensland

Armstrong, K, Livingstone, K, Wilson, A, Watson, B, Watson, A, Barraclough, P (Peer reviewed)

Driver Risk & Behaviour


The driving of unregistered vehicles undermines the integrity of the road transport system, with numerous studies identifying associations between this activity and illegal and unsafe driving behaviours. A state-wide observational study was undertaken to ascertain the prevalence of unregistered vehicles on Queensland roads in both rural and metropolitan areas. Over a four week period, 53,217 vehicles were observed parked in both on-road and off-road locations, and matched against the Queensland registration database. Building on previous research, this study contains an additional component exploring linkages between the driving of unregistered vehicles and other illegal driving behaviours. This facilitated an analysis of the traffic infringement and sanction histories of the most recent registered owner. The proportion of vehicles observed to be unregistered increased significantly from 2005 (1.81%) to 2010 (2.88%). Consistent with previous surveys, the majority of observed unregistered vehicles (52.50%) had been unregistered for more than two years. Unregistered vehicle owners were generally more likely than the owners of registered vehicles to have committed driving offences (59.90% vs. 55.80%) and to have had a sanction applied to their driver licence (30.70% vs. 10.60%). Unregistered vehicle owners were also more likely to be unlicensed at the time of the observational survey (6.30% vs. 0.80%), and to have previously committed unlicensed and unregistered driving offences. As the extent of unregistered vehicle usage and the prevalence of unlicensed driving can be difficult to ascertain, the current study adds to the understanding of these behaviours and their linkages to other traffic infringements.