Safety in Transportation : The Role of Government, Law, and Insurance.

by Lester B. Lave

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An analysis of how an optimal level of transportation safety can be achieved in terms of various roles of current institutions. Transportation safety results from the interaction of passengers, government, law, and insurance. The unique role each plays in optimizing safety is investigated with the ultimate objective of identifying the role of government and regulation in accomplishing society's safety goals. While liability laws and insurance have well-defined roles in optimizing transportation safety, government is something of a residual claimant. Depending on the particular circumstances, government might be called upon to do nothing or to settle everything by fiat. It is reasonable to assert that whenever there are important deviations from optimal safety, government has some obligation to find a way of correcting the situation. The solutions open to government take three basic forms: help perfect the market directly, create institutions to perfect the market, or correct the deviation by fiat. 44 pp.

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