This report presents and discusses the findings of a two year study carried out in 1989-1990. The overall objective was to point to ideas which might enhance road safety and reduce accidents. More specifically, the aims of the authors working at the Centre for Criminal Justice, Department of Law at Brunel University, was to increase knowledge on the extent of unlawful driving behaviour and the nature of its links with accidents, and to explore the reasons and motivations drivers express for traffic offences. A special focus of the report is the role of cognition and of social influences in decisions whether to break traffic laws. Knowledge of the offender's viewpoint and of their perception of the opportunities, costs and benefits of law breaking on the roads might contribute to road safety and to crime prevention. Linked with this, another aim was to discover whether any distinction could be drawn, in terms of cognitive and social factors, between traffic offenders who have accidents and those who do not.

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