In-vehicle data recorders (IVDR) have been found to facilitate safe driving and are highly valuable in accident analysis. Nevertheless, it is not easy to convince drivers to use them. Part of the difficulty is related to the "Big Brother" concern: installing IVDR impairs the drivers' privacy. The "Big Brother" concern can be mitigated by adding a turn-off switch to the IVDR. However, this addition comes at the expense of increasing speed variability between drivers, which is known to impair safety. The current experimental study examines the significance of this negative effect of a turn-off switch under two experimental settings representing different incentive structures: small and large fines for speeding. 199 students were asked to participate in a computerized speeding dilemma task, where they could control the speed of their "car" using "brake" and "speed" buttons, corresponding to automatic car foot pedals. The participants in two experimental conditions had IVDR installed in their "cars", and were told that they could turn it off at any time. Driving with active IVDR implied some probability of "fines" for speeding, and the two experimental groups differed with respect to the fine's magnitude, small or large. The results indicate that the option to use IVDR reduced speeding and speed variance. In addition, the results indicate that the reduction of speed variability was maximal in the small fine group. These results suggest that using IVDR with gentle fines and with a turn-off option maintains the positive effect of IVDR, addresses the "Big Brother" concern, and does not increase speed variance.
Keywords: Fine size; In vehicle data recorder; Road safety; Self-monitoring; Speed variability; Speeding.
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