Synchronization of traffic signals as a means of reducing red-light running

David Shinar, Muki Bourla, Liat Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to determine if traffic signals that are synchronized along a route are associated with fewer red-light violations than traffic signals that are not synchronized. A total 3600 cycles of traffic signals at 12 intersections along 2 major urban arteries were observed. Synchronized intersections were effective in reducing the likelihood of red-light running (RLR) by (a) providing fewer opportunities than nonsynchronized intersections for RLR and (b) having a lower rate of RLR relative to the number of opportunities. After adjustment for the number of opportunities, the odds of entering the intersections in red in synchronized intersections were nearly 1/7 the odds of RLR in nonsynchronized intersections. Congestion reduced the effectiveness of synchronized intersections relative to non-synchronized intersections. Male drivers were slightly more likely to run red lights than female drivers, and the effects of synchronization were fairly constant across age, gender, and the presence or absence of passengers. Actual or potential applications of this research involve signal synchronization to reduce aggressive driving in general and RLR in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Factors
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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