Photo: Edwin van Eis

The 'stopped-for-red meter' has been installed

Amsterdam installed two red light experiments

On February 9th, the 'stopped-for-red counter' was placed at the Boelelaan-Parnassusweg crossing. Research has shown that this meter has an positive effect on cyclists who cycle through red light. In addition to the 'stopped-for-red-counter', a sign with a picture of a child has been placed near traffic lights at 12 other crossings in the city, which also persuade the cyclist to stop for a red light.

Why the 'stopped-for-red-counter'?

In Amsterdam, about a quarter of cyclists regularly cycle through red traffic lights. This sometimes leads to dangerous situations. It is in the top 3 of the biggest annoyances among road users in Amsterdam. Last year, Amsterdam tested four experiments to induce cyclists to stop at red lights. Two of these experiments, the 'stopped-at-red-counter' and a sign with a picture of a child, gradually led to change of behavior at traffic lights. These two experiments are currently installed in the city to influence the behavior of cyclists.

How does the counter work?

A large digital counter a few meters before the traffic lights shows cyclists how many fellow road users have already stopped for a red light. This communicates the social norm, that most cyclists stop for red light. While waiting for red, cyclists are triggered to press a button next to the traffic lights.This visibly increases the number on the meter and thus reinforces the social norm even more. Seeing how many cyclists stop for red, it creates a positive effect among other cyclists. After six weeks, the counter is moved to a different crossing because the effect is often temporary. In addition to the Boelelaan-Parnassusweg crossing, the meter will be installed at two more intersections in the city. At crossings where many people cycle through the red traffic light.

69739-wachtvoorrood-02-17feb2023-e-v-eis.jpg Photo: Edwin van Eis

Another successful experiment; sign with picture of child

The behavioral technique on which this experiment is based is altercasting. At the traffic light, a sign is posted showing a picture of a child on a bicycle waiting for the green light. This sign responds to an adult’s sense of responsibility to set an good example for children. The sign has been placed at 12 sections in the city on routes which are used by a lot of children.

69745-wachtvoorrood-08-17feb2023-e-v-eis.jpg Photo: Edwin van Eis

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