Category Archives: Driving offences

New issue: Crime & Delinquency 53(4)


Crime & Delinquency 53(4) , October 2007 is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Strain, Attribution, and Traffic Delinquency Among Young Drivers: Measuring and Testing General Strain Theory in the Context of Driving – Steven J. Ellwanger
  • Applying a Generic Juvenile Risk Assessment Instrument to a Local Context: Some Practical and Theoretical Lessons – Joel Miller and Jeffrey Lin
  • Serious Mental Illness and Arrest: The Generalized Mediating Effect of Substance Use – James A. Swartz and Arthur J. Lurigio
  • Whistle-Blowing and the Code of Silence in Police Agencies: Policy and Structural Predictors – Gary R. Rothwell and J. Norman Baldwin
  • Recidivism of Supermax Prisoners in Washington State – David Lovell, L. Clark Johnson, and Kevin C. Cain

Shyness, suggestibility and aggressive driving

shynessThe journal Personality and Individual Differences covers wide range of interesting material and there’s usually one or two articles in each issue that have relevance to forensic issues, either directly or in directly. Here’s a selection from recent and forthcoming issues.

In the September issue, Gisli Gudjonsson and colleagues report that individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were not more suggestible in an interview situation than a control participants without ADHD. Gudjonsson et al. explain that ADHD participants didn’t yield to misinformation, leading questions and interrogative pressure, though they did give a disproportionate number of “don’t know” replies.

In November’s issue, researchers from Carlton University in Ontario report results of a study exploring whether shy eye-witnesses differ from non-shy witnesses when it comes to recall memory and susceptibility to misinformation. Contrary to predictions, they don’t (although the shy ones do get more stressed about it). It’s always interesting when you get negative results, or results that contradict existing findings. But my interest in this particular study is tempered by the fact that the ‘witnesses’ were watching a filmed mock crime rather than a genuine event.

Finally, in the December issue (which is already online), Murray Millar from the University of Nevada examines the relationship between emotion, personality and behaviour. He found that although people may get angry when they are driving, they are less likely to behave aggressively if they are the sort of person who cares a lot about what others think of them, a trait known as public self-consciousness. Miller explains:

Private self-consciousness is the tendency to focus attention upon the inner aspects of oneself such as thoughts, inner feelings, and physical sensations. Public self-consciousness is the tendency to focus attention on the self as a social object. People high in public self-consciousness are concerned about what other people think about them and how they appear to others

Miller concludes:

The current study indicates that when people are angry public self-consciousness influences whether anger leads to aggressive behavior. Overall, the relationship between personality and aggression is likely to involve a constellation of personality traits with some traits predisposing people to anger and other traits predisposing people to express anger as aggressive behavior. At a practical level, the present study suggests that when attempting to reduce aggressive driving behaviors it might be useful to focus on variables that combine with anger to produce aggression. For example, a combination of interventions aimed at reducing anger and increasing public self-consciousness, at least while driving, may reduce the amount of aggressive driving behavior.

What’s true for aggressive driving behaviour may well be true for other forms of aggressive behaviour too.


Photo credit: cheesebikini, Creative Commons License

New issue: Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25(4)


Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25(4) , July/Aug 2007 is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • The function of punishment in the ‘civil’ commitment of sexually violent predators – Kevin M. Carlsmith, John Monahan, Alison Evans
  • Constructing insanity: jurors’ prototypes, attitudes, and legal decision-making – Jennifer Eno Louden, Jennifer L Skeem
  • Facets of psychopathy, Axis II traits, and behavioral dysregulation among jail detainees – Richard Rogers, Mandy J. Jordan, Kimberly S. Harrison
  • Improving forensic tribunal decisions: the role of the clinician – Shari A. McKee, Grant T. Harris, Marnie E. Rice
  • Determining dangerousness in sexually violent predator evaluations: cognitive-experiential self-theory and juror judgments of expert testimony – Joel D. Lieberman, Daniel A. Krauss, Mariel Kyger, Maribeth Lehoux
  • An examination of behavioral consistency using individual behaviors or groups of behaviors in serial homicide – Alicia L. Bateman, C. Gabrielle Salfati
  • Can defendants with mental retardation successfully fake their performance on a test of competence to stand trial? – Caroline Everington, Heidi Notario-Smull, Mel L. Horton
  • The role of death qualification and need for cognition in venirepersons’ evaluations of expert scientific testimony in capital trials – Brooke Butler, Gary Moran
  • Plea bargaining recommendations by criminal defense attorneys: evidence strength, potential sentence, and defendant preference – Greg M. Kramer, Melinda Wolbransky, Kirk Heilbrun
  • Megan’s law and its impact on community re-entry for sex offenders – Jill S. Levenson, David A. D’Amora, Andrea L. Hern
  • Criminality and continued DUI offense: criminal typologies and recidivism among repeat offenders – Richard A. LaBrie, Rachel C. Kidman, Mark Albanese, Allyson J. Peller, Howard J. Shaffer

New issue: Psychology, Crime & Law, 13(3)


Psychology, Crime & Law, 13(3), June 2007 , is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

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Contents include:

  • The education of jury members: Influences on the determinations of child witnesses – Crissa Sumner-Armstrong; Peter A. Newcombe
  • Vehicle-related crime and the gender gap – Claire Corbett
  • The features of a good offender treatment programme manual: A Delphi survey of experts – Anna McCulloch; Mary McMurran
  • The relationships between alcohol-aggression proneness, general alcohol expectancies, hazardous drinking, and alcohol-related violence in adult male prisoners – Mary McMurran
  • Stereotyping, congruence and presentation order: Interpretative biases in utilizing offender profiles – Benjamin C. Marshall; Laurence J. Alison
  • Are old witnesses always poorer witnesses? Identification accuracy, context reinstatement, own-age bias – Rachel A. Wilcock; Ray Bull; Aldert Vrij
  • Influences of accent and ethnic background on perceptions of eyewitness testimony – Lara Frumkin

New issues: Aggression and Violent Behavior 12(2) and 12(3)


The March/April and May/June 2007 issues of Aggression and Violent Behavior 12(2) and 12(3) are now online. Follow the link to the Science Direct website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Issue 12(2) includes articles on female aggression, terrorism, aggressive driving, sex offenders, sexual homicide and suicide.

Issue 12(3) has papers on terrorism, aggressive behaviour, sex crimes, marital rape and other intimate partner violence and interventions for juvenile offenders with reading disabilities.

Contents below the fold.

Continue reading New issues: Aggression and Violent Behavior 12(2) and 12(3)

Articles in the latest issue of Personality and Individual Differences

Some interesting articles with forensic psych implications in the latest (March 2007) issue of Personality and Individual Differences42(4):

Self-injury in female versus male psychiatric patients: A comparison of characteristics, psychopathology and aggression regulation – Laurence Claes, Walter Vandereycken and Hans Vertommen

Self-monitoring style and levels of interrogative suggestibility – Stella A. Bain, James S. Baxter and Katie Ballantyne

Forgiveness for intimate partner violence: The influence of victim and offender variables – Jo-Ann Tsang and Matthew S. Stanford

Driving anger in Spain – Mark J.M. Sullman, M. Eugenia Gras, Monica Cunill, Monserrat Planes and Silvia Font-Mayolas

Finger length ratio (2D:4D) and sex differences in aggression during a simulated war game – Matthew H. McIntyre, Emily S. Barrett, Rose McDermott, Dominic D.P. Johnson, Jonathan Cowden and Stephen P. Rosen

Motoring offences and other offending behaviour

Sometimes, interesing and forensically-relevant articles appear in non-forensic journals. A case in point is two articles in the most recent (March 2007) issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention (vol 39 issue 2). The first is from Damian R. Poulter and Frank P. McKenn at the University of Reading (UK) and considers the community impact of speeding in: Is speeding a “real” antisocial behavior? A comparison with other antisocial behaviors. From the abstract:

[…] Analysis was conducted on public perceptions of antisocial behaviors including speeding traffic. The data was collected as part of the British Crime Survey, a face-to-face interview with UK residents on issues relating to crime. The antisocial behavior section required participants to state the degree to which they perceived 16 antisocial behaviors to be a problem in their area. Results revealed that speeding traffic was perceived as the greatest problem in local communities, regardless of whether respondents were male or female, young, middle aged, or old. The rating of speeding traffic as the greatest problem in the community was replicated in a second, smaller postal survey, where respondents also provided strong support for enforcement on residential roads, and indicated that traveling immediately above the speed limit on residential roads was unacceptable. Results are discussed in relation to practical implications for speed enforcement, and the prioritization of limited police resources. [Abstract © 2006 Elsevier Ltd]

The second paper also considers motoring offences in relation to other forms of offending behaviour. The correlation between motoring and other types of offence is by Jeremy Broughton from the UK Transport Research Laboratory:

This paper examines the link between traffic offences and criminal offences in Great Britain statistically by linking offence data from two national sources: the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Home Office. A stratified sample of over 52,000 drivers was selected from DVLA records and matched with the Home Office Offenders Index. The numbers of motoring and non-motoring offences committed by these drivers between 1999 and 2003 were compared at various levels of detail.

The results demonstrate the strength of the relationship between the number of motoring and non-motoring offences committed. For example, men who committed between 4 and 8 non-motoring offences committed on average 21 times as many serious motoring offences as men who committed no non-motoring offences, and 3.9 times as many other motoring offences. The strongest relationship was found for the offence of driving while disqualified: on average, men who committed at least 9 non-motoring offences between 1999 and 2003 committed more than 100 times as many of these offences as men who committed no non-motoring offences. At the other extreme, the number of speeding offences was found to decrease with the number of non-motoring offences committed. [Abstract © 2006 Elsevier Ltd]

Criminology and Criminal Justice 6(4)

journals The November 2006 issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice 6(4) is now online. Follow the link to the Sage website for access to abstracts and full-test articles (remember that Sage is offering free access to all its journals until 18 October).

  • The impact of work-family conflict on correctional staff: A preliminary study – Eric G. Lambert, Nancy L. Hogan, Scott D. Camp, and Lois A. Ventura
  • Sobering up: Arrest referral and brief intervention for alcohol users in the custody suite – Matt Hopkins and Paul Sparrow
  • Gender differences in responses to speed cameras: Typology findings and implications for road safety – Claire Corbett and Isabela Caramlau
  • Penal policy and political economy – Michael Cavadino and James Dignan

Road rage and aggressive driving

Two articles in the latest issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention focus on characteristics and activities of aggressive motorists.

In the first, David Hemenway and his colleagues ask what sort of US motorists are more likely to engage in hostile and aggressive behaviour on the road. They surveyed 2400 randomly selected drivers and found that those more likely to engage in aggressive behaviours on the road, such as making obscene or rude gestures at another motorist or engaged in aggressive tailgating, were males, young adults, binge drinkers, those “who do not believe most people can be trusted”, those ever arrested for a non-traffic violation, and motorists who had been in a vehicle in which there was a gun.

A second study in the same issue examines the role of personality characteristics in predicting risky driving behavior. Participants completed questionnaires and were tested in a driving simulation for risky driving behaviour. The authors found sensation-seeking, conscientious, and angry/hostile behaviour patterns each predicted risky driving.


Recently published articles

Some recently published articles of forensic interest in non-forensic journals.

Two on terrorism:

Two on media violence:

An interesting approach in deception detection:

Defining child maltreatment:

And finally, how to deter repeated drink driving: