Crossing at a red light: Behaviour of individuals and groups

Tova Rosenbloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


The present study examines the road behaviour of individual pedestrians at an intersection with a traffic signal compared to groups of pedestrians at the same intersection. In total, 1392 pedestrians were unobtrusively observed in an urban setting at a pedestrian street crossing of undivided streets; 842 were female (60.5%) and 550 were male (39.5%). The observations took place between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning. Chi-square test revealed the males crossed on red more frequently than females. Logistic regression predicting red-light crossing for pedestrians arriving during a red-light phase indicated that, apart from gender, the tendency to cross on red was greater when there were fewer people waiting at the curb, either when a pedestrian arrived, or joining after arrival. The discussion refers to the theoretical explanations concerning the theory of 'social control' and to some practical implications of the results, such as using the positive value of social control in media campaigns and adjusting the red light duration in order to encourage people to obey the traffic light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Group
  • Individual
  • Red light
  • Social control


Dive into the research topics of 'Crossing at a red light: Behaviour of individuals and groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this