Criminal histories of crash and non-crash involved Queensland speeding offenders: Evidence supporting the idea that we drive as we live
Evidence increasingly suggests that our behaviour on the road mirrors our behaviour across other aspects of our life. The idea that we drive as we live, described by Tillman and Hobbs more than 65 years ago when examining off-road behaviours of taxi drivers (1949), is the focus of the current paper. As part of a larger study examining the impact of penalty changes on a large cohort of Queensland speeding offenders, criminal (lifetime) and crash history (10 year period) data for a sub-sample of 1000 offenders were obtained. Based on the ‘drive as we live’ maxim, it was hypothesised that crash-involved speeding offenders would be more likely to have a criminal history than non-crash involved offenders. Overall, only 30% of speeding offenders had a criminal history. However, crash-involved offenders were significantly more likely to have a criminal history (49.4%) than non-crash involved offenders (28.6%), supporting the hypothesis. Furthermore, those deemed ‘most at fault’ in a crash were the group most likely to have at least one criminal offence (52.2%). When compared to the non-crash involved offenders, those deemed ‘not most at fault’ in a crash were also more likely to have had at least one criminal offence (46.5%). Therefore, when compared to non-crash involved speeding offenders, those offenders involved in a crash were more likely to have been convicted of at least one criminal offence, irrespective of whether they were deemed most at fault in that crash. Implications for traffic offender management and policing are discussed.