Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks in Washington State


The evaluation results provide a consistent picture of TACT effectiveness. Success was demonstrated at every step of the process—messages were received and understood; knowledge was changed in the intended direction; self-reported behavior improved and observed behavior confirmed the self reports. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the TACT intervention achieved its objectives and thereby improved safety in the intervention corridors.

The TACT program evaluation was broad and provided evidence that the process worked at each necessary step. Because the evaluation was limited in time, however, there is little information about the likely persistence of the positive behavioral changes. The strong effectiveness of the road signs suggests that there should be a continued effect as long as they are in place. Additional drivers will see these signs that imply that enforcement continues even after the selective traffic safety project ended (regular enforcement continues). Whether this results in drivers’ ignoring the message or ingraining it further cannot be determined at this time. It is an interesting research question for a future effort.

The use and effectiveness of the road signs suggests the further exploration of this medium as a highway safety countermeasure. The WTSC used these signs for Click It or Ticket safety belt messages with documented success. Their impact with the TACT message further supports their efficacy. Certainly, theory suggests that the delivery of a safety message at or near the point of behavior for a driver should enhance its benefit, especially when a message is a sign erected by the State’s highway department as opposed to an advertising message. It is unknown, however, how much the relatively novel nature of the TACT message contributed to the positive response to the signs.

Finally, it is not known to what extent fear of a citation, i.e., general deterrence produced by the TACT countermeasures, contributed to the positive results. The survey finding that respondents in the intervention sites thought that law enforcement had become significantly stricter about violations around semi trucks suggests that general deterrence was created by the media and enforcement interventions. The number of citations documents that the enforcement effort was real and constant during each enforcement period.