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Owner: cgkeesee
Created: Apr 23, 2015
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The Relationship Between Public Transportation and DUI Arrests
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After visiting New York City over fall break, I was amazed by how easy traveling around the city was due to the excellent access to public transportation.  Not only did I perceive this as something efficient and convenient, but also potentially safer.  Cities like Raleigh and Houston are so expansive and have lacking public transit systems.  Houston also has the highest number of drunk driving fatalities of any city in the United States, so I decided to see if there was a relationship between drunk driving and access to efficient public transportation.  I used the ratings of American public transit systems on a website called WalkScore (which also has TransitScore), which uses an algorithm that takes into account things like frequency of routes, types of routes, and distances between route stops in order to calculate the overall usefulness of the system.  I decided the way I would observe drunk driving in the areas would be to assess the number of DUI arrests in the area in a specific year (2012).  This was much more difficult to find then I thought it would be, and I had to settle with the arrest data for specific counties that I found on the FBI’s website.  I then divided the number of DUI arrests by the population of their city, then compared the data with the TransitScore.


The first of my two graphs is the distribution of the frequency of the TransitScores.  What I learned from this was that there are very few cities in America that have “Transit that is convenient for most trips” (WalkScore’s classification).  Only New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington DC fit this criteria.  This information gave me quite a bit of insight when I compared it with the second graph.  The graph comparing TransitScore and the DUI/Population is relatively scattered, with not much of a correlation.  After reviewing my results, I realized that there must be quite a few other variables affecting the DUI arrest rate, such as the efficiency and effectiveness of the police departments and State/Local DUI laws amongst other things.  However, it should be noted that the three cities with the best TransitScore have the lowest DUI rate of all of the cities sampled, and the top six TransitScore cities all have low DUI rates.  While this data may not provide concrete proof that good public transit prevents drunk driving, it does provide enough evidence to make me want to further research the relationship, possibly by looking at cities in other countries or taking into account drunk driving accidents themselves.

Result 1: Transit Scores   [Info]
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Result 2: Transit Score vs DUI Rate   [Info]
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By websterwest
May 2, 2015

Excellent report!

Always Learning