The vehicle impoundment sanction in Israel is applicable to several violations, and authorizes police officers to impound a vehicle for period of 30 days, in addition to license suspension. This study examined the effects of vehicle impoundment on traffic-violations and road accidents in Israel, using both subjective and objective measures. A telephone survey was administered to 378 impounded drivers, examining their knowledge and support of the impoundment penalty, as well as the impoundment's effect on their daily life and subsequent driving behaviors. Survey results indicated most impounded drivers did not recognize the violations to which impoundment applies. Respondents described the impoundment experience as one, which interfered with a variety of daily life aspects, and eventually lead them to the adoption of safer driving behaviors. Additionally, data analysis of police records was performed on 1549 impounded drivers and 1354 controls with matching violations performed prior to the application of the impoundment regulation, comparing accident and traffic-violations involvement in the subsequent year. Results indicated that impoundment failed to yield a significant effect over subsequent accident involvement, compared to previous sanctions. A comparison of subsequent traffic-violations indicated lower rates of violations following impoundment as compared with previous sanctions. Specifically, drivers whose vehicle was impounded were less likely to commit traffic violations in the following year than drivers subjected to other sanctions. The results are explained according to psychological behavioral theories of punishment effectiveness. These findings provide further support for impoundment as a deterrent for several traffic-violations.
- Public awareness
- Vehicle impoundment regulation