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Review of NJ point system.
  • Published Date:
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Filetype[PDF-622.19 KB]

  • Publication/ Report Number:
    FHWA NJ-2013-004
  • Resource Type:
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  • Abstract:
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the comparative effectiveness of point-based versus incident-based

    negligent driver monitoring systems and to explore how certain changes to the existing point-based system used in

    New Jersey might improve the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s (MVC) ability to properly identify and

    address problem drivers. This study seeks to address an existing gap in the literature and advance the current

    state of knowledge regarding the effectiveness of point- versus incident-based monitoring systems. The results of

    this study further confirm the results of previous studies that the interventions used by MVC to correct problem

    driver behavior are effective. As part of this study, the research team used survival analysis to show that the

    average time to next offense for driver’s subjected to MVC interventions increases significantly for all three

    interventions used. Three primary alternatives to MVC’s current point-based system of driver monitoring and

    control were investigated. Alternative #1 retained MVC’s existing point-based monitoring system but limited or

    eliminated the practice of plea bargaining motor vehicle offenses. Alternative #2 replaced MVC’s current point-based system of monitoring with an incident-based system; and Alternative #3 supplemented the existing point-based system with an incident-based habitual offender license suspension program. Each of the alternatives

    results in increased system outputs in the form of advisory notices, re-education class enrollments and license

    suspensions. These additional interventions result in improved safety outcomes in the form of longer periods of

    safe driving after intervention and fewer future violations and crashes among the drivers in each cohort.

    Across the alternatives, improvement in time until next offense is greatest among male drivers. This may be in part

    due to the fact that male drivers have higher overall rates of violation than female drivers. The best results in terms

    of time until next offense appear to derive from Alternative #1 Case 1 which presents the highest level of

    improvement across virtually every age and gender cohort. Interestingly, Alternative #2 which by far subjects the

    greatest number of drivers to interventions of all types presents improvements slightly below Alternative #1 Case 1.

    Alternative #3 does appear to result in longer times to next offense among habitual offenders but the times

    between offenses remain very short. This result highlights the fact that “hard core” habitual offenders are likely to

    pose significant safety concerns even though more drivers are subject to license suspension, the most strict of the

    interventions used by MVC. From the analysis it seems clear that there are changes that MVC can make to

    enhance the agency’s ability to address negligent driving behavior and thereby improve highway safety. However,

    at least two of alternatives explored in this study, Alternatives #1 and #2 present significant and perhaps

    insurmountable political, systems and operational challenges. Alternative #3 presents the most promise but it too

    will require careful consideration of the costs and benefits of any change.

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