— Car dealers might offer incentives to purchase that next set of wheels, but should drivers be given cash incentives to obey traffic laws?
Apparently, that was a question that needed answered, at least according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Instead of testing what would happen if speeding laws had tougher enforcement and penalties, the government tested a system that paid drivers if they stayed within the posted speed limits.
Researchers studied 50 drivers over the course of four weeks in cars equipped with GPS and linked to speed limits in real time. Along with the monetary incentive, drivers could also experience a warning system that alerted a driver if they went over the speed limit by 5 mph or more.
The results indicated the monetary incentive system resulted in significant reductions in driving faster than the posted limit, while the warning system led to modest changes in speeding.
In the condition in which drivers experienced both the warning and incentive, reductions in speeding were similar to those found during the incentive-only condition.
This "pay-to-obey" system might not be coming to a road near you soon, but the philosophy behind the test will eventually be used by your insurer to monitor every move you make with your vehicle.
From exceeding speed limits to how fast you negotiate a turn, insurers will soon be monitoring you and base your insurance premiums on how you really drive your car.