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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Documenting Targeted Behaviors Associated with Pedestrian Safety


The purpose of this study is to provide an exploratory analysis of the proportion of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers exhibiting four specific behaviors at 12 intersections near transit stations in 4 the San Francisco Bay Area. The target behaviors include: 1) pedestrians crossing the roadway while using a mobile device, such as a cell phone, 2) pedestrians crossing a signalized intersection against a red light, 3) bicyclists running a red light at a signalized intersection, and 4) automobiles turning right on red without stopping. These four behaviors are important because they may lead 8 to pedestrian crashes. Field observations show a range of observed pedestrian and bicycle violation of red lights. At some locations as few as 2.4% of non-motorized road users violated red lights, whereas 40% did at other sites. The range of vehicles violating red lights was somewhat higher, with 20% to 62% of drivers turning right illegally on a red light. Male pedestrians were more likely than females to talk on mobile devices while crossing the street and crossing the street at red lights. As pedestrian and bicycle mode shares increase, it will be essential for all users to understand their rights and responsibilities in the roadway environment. Documenting behaviors helps provide a foundation for engineering, education, and encouragement treatments that will improve safety for pedestrians and other roadway users. 

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