Motivations of pedestrians for safe use of highway crossing: an application of the behaviour change model COM-B in Bangladesh




COM­-B model, crossing facilities, LMICs, road fatalities, safe crossing behaviour


In Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), approximately 93% of global road fatalities occur. As the population of students and workers in these countries continues to grow, walking becomes a prevalent mode of transportation for their daily commutes to schools and workplaces. Bangladesh faces the challenge of pedestrian fatalities, particularly among students and workers, while they cross medium-to-high speed roads during their daily journeys. This research aims to enhance highway crossing design and promote safe crossing behaviour in Bangladesh. The study utilises the COM-B (Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation-Behaviour) model to collect self-reported attitudinal responses from 302 pedestrians who regularly encounter different crossings, including zebra crossings, footbridges, underpasses, and non-priority crossings. These data collection sites are situated along two major highways in Bangladesh. The developed conceptual model in this study focuses on understanding the interplay between Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation, explaining 42% of the variance in the Target Behaviour of safe crossing use and 34.5% in Motivation. The analysis underscores the crucial role of Opportunity in predicting safe crossing use, followed by Motivation and Capability. Furthermore, the study examines the influence of COM-B factors on three essential components of the Target Behaviour: avoiding violations in using nearby crossings, aggressions, and lapses. The findings indicate that physical opportunity plays a vital role in avoiding violations in using nearby crossings, while social opportunity plays a vital role in avoiding aggressions and lapses. Motivation is a key mediator between Capability and Opportunity when predicting safe crossing use. To promote safe crossing practices, designers should focus on Motivation factors such as satisfaction, benefits realisation, and habit formation to maximise the benefits. The study emphasises the necessity for comprehensive interventions, which involve designing pedestrian-friendly infrastructure through various measures. These measures include improving visibility, reducing crossing times, ensuring accessibility, strategically placing traffic signs and fencing, and incorporating refuge areas. Additionally, the study highlights the significant role of social opportunities in safe crossing use by considering appropriate strategies to leverage social elements to motivate pedestrians by involving influential individuals, collaborating with families and institutions, facilitating group crossings, and implementing safety alert reminders. Moreover, social elements impact pedestrians' physical and psychological capabilities for safe crossing practice, as revealed in the study. Overall, the study highlights the potential of the COM-B model and underscores the need for comprehensive interventions to enhance pedestrian safety in LMICs.


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Author Biographies

M. Shaheen Sarker, University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

Mohammad Shaheen Sarker is an Executive Engineer at the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in Bangladesh. He played a leadership role in the road safety division for a significant part of his professional career, starting in 2003. He recently completed his PhD at the University of Leeds, UK, focusing on pedestrian safety. He earned his master's degree from KTH, Sweden, in 2009. Shaheen Sarker has actively participated in various road safety training programs, including a short course at Hasselt University, Belgium, supported by the VLIR-UOS scholarship program. This study is a part of his doctoral research, and it was funded by the government of Bangladesh.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing.

Oliver Carsten, University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

Oliver Carsten is Professor of Transport Safety at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. His major research focus is on driver interaction and safety with new driver support systems. He led the UK national project on Intelligent Speed Assistance and has acted as chair of the Road User Behaviour Working Party of PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. He has provided advice on safety policy to the UK Department for Transport and to the European Commission, especially on behalf of the European Transport Safety Council. He was a member of the European Commission’s GEAR 2030 High-Level Group on the future of the European automobile industry as well as a member of the C-ITS Platform. He is an attendee at the meetings of UNECE in automation and a member of the Informal Group of Experts on Automated Driving (IGEAD) under UNECE WP.1. He is editor-in-chief of the academic journal Cognition, Technology and Work.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualisation, Methodology, Supervision, Writing—review & editing.

Yue Huang, University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

Yue Huang is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds, UK. His research areas include life cycle assessment, pavement evaluation and recycling, and road safety. After completing his PhD at Newcastle University in 2007, Dr Huang started his career as a Research Engineer at Scott Wilson (now AECOM) until 2011. His previous employments include the University of Nottingham where he worked as a Research Fellow in 2011-2012. Before he joined ITS, Dr Huang was a Senior Lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University between 2012 and 2018. Dr Huang is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

CRediT contribution: Conceptualisation, Methodology, Supervision, Writing—review & editing.

Foroogh Hajiseyedjavadi, Birmingham City University, the United Kingdom

Foroogh Hajiseyedjavadi is a lecturer in the school of Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, UK, and a visiting research fellow at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds, UK. She received her B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, in 2012. She received her MSc and PhD in Transportation Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working on driver behaviour studies. Since 2018, she has been a research fellow at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds working on driver behaviour analysis.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualisation, Methodology, Supervision, Writing—review & editing.


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How to Cite

Sarker, M. S., Carsten, O., Huang, Y., & Hajiseyedjavadi, F. (2023). Motivations of pedestrians for safe use of highway crossing: an application of the behaviour change model COM-B in Bangladesh. Traffic Safety Research, 4, 000037.