Design Interventions to increase traffic compliance in Ahmedabad city.

Project Context

Indian roads are a mix of pedestrians, non-motorised and motorised traffic and lack of appropriate behaviours and violation of traffic rules leads to a high rate of vulnerability on roads. This project was done in collaboration with the Ahmedabad Police to more the citizens of the city more traffic complaint.


This proposal looks at understanding traffic as a behaviour problem rather than a pure infrastructure issue and essentially taps into the root cause of the same. Various research tools like behaviour mapping, bias analysis, interviews, etc were used to find key insights which served as the base for our design solutions/ recommendations.  


Our key area of intervention was the Dafnala Junction in Ahmedabad. This junction has a prime and an extremely busy crossroad which currently relies on heavy police deployment for traffic compliance and monitoring. 


"Behavioural design interventions to increase traffic compliance among the citizens, making the city roads safer while, reducing police deployment."

Process Phases




Understanding the context 
Existing Statistics Analysis
Case Studies
Field visit
Online Surveys
Defining Areas of Intervention
Understanding the context and the current scenario via statistics
Secondary Study
Case Studies
Literature Review
Cognitive Theories




Mapping stakeholders
and their perspectives
Focus Group Discussions
Understanding drivers/ reasons behind traffic violations
Fly on the wall
Mapping patterns
CCTV footage analysis
Fly on the wall




Data Analysis
Insights &
Design Solutions

Areas of Intervention

& Objective

Dafnala junction is an important crossroads in Ahmedabad. However, it has heavy police deployment for checking and for maintenance of rules and regulations.


The three key areas of our compliance intervention were: Stop Line Violation, Pedestrian and Helmet.  

Areas of Intervention

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Stop Line Violation


Pedestrian/ Jaywalking


Helmet Law

Objective of Research

What causes the commuters to violate the rules? 

How can they made more compliant?

Can Psychological incentives help?

How to retain the existing complaint citizens?

Can the compliance model be replicable and scalable


Key Observations

If the first 2-3 vehicles cross the stop line, the rest tend to follow the same.


Inability to decide whether people can make it within green signal timing.

The Stop Line markings & Zebra Crossings are missed out because of the placement and lack of visibility.


The last line violates the most.


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The initial 2-3 vehicles stopping at a red signal dictate the trend of whether the following vehicles will stop behind the stop line, or violate it, resulting from the Bandwagon Effect.


Perceived Sense of Hurry (Time Saving Bias) results in vehicle drivers to be impatient and violate the stop line


Lack of visibility and lack of prominence of the stop line results in vehicle drivers majorly violating the stop line


The perceived visual end is the end of the divider, and generally, vehicles tend to stop aligning to this rather than the stop line.


If there are lesser number of vehicles, less noise, less visual clutter, it causes less panic and more patience is observed and therefore, in a cool state there are fewer violations of the stop line.

Design Solutions

Solution 1.1 - Visibility & Feeback

Solution 1.2 - Cool down period

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Creating a Prominent Visual Identity for the stop line for instant identification, better and more visibility.

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Creating an instant feedback system for violation of stop line through an instant beeping buzzer.

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A 5 second cooldown period as a red signal for all sides to convert the hot state of traffic to a cool state.

Solution 1.3- Divider & Visual Illusion

Commuters stop where the divider ends as that is seen as the perceived end.

The current divider ends after the Stop Line therefore, resulting in violations. 

Realigning the divider to the stop line to create a visual perception of the road ending.

VISUAL ILLUSION of speed breakers could be use to slow down the drivers. This could be a non forced compliance 

to influence the decision of an individual or a group. 

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Key Observations

When traffic opens/ merges they get confused and run/ haste/ panic.

Zebra crossing has low visibility.

Zebra crossing is behind road divider.

Vehicle drivers are in a rush and do not want to wait for pedestrians.

Some said that it has become a habit now, zebra crossing is not necessary.


Vehicles tend to stop on zebra crossing, hence pedestrian are forced to jaywalk.

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Pedestrian mapping

Diagonal crossing has been seen as  a very prominent pattern.

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Pedestrians feel excluded from the traffic system. The cars don't stop for them and they feel not valued in the traffic system. Even zebra crossing is not safe.

Since the perceived safety is more the pedestrians tend to take greater risks. (They believe jaywalking is not unsafe.)

There is a perceived sense of urgency/ workload or the bias of loss aversion that urges them to take the shorter distance. (It is a human tendency to take shortcuts.) 

Design Solutions

Solution 2.1 - Pedestrian Safe Zones (PSZ) 

Identifying these “Pedestrian Safe Zones” on google maps and highlighting them for greater awareness.

Solution 2.2 - Nudge

Footprints painted on the zebra crossing to nudge and guide pedestrians to use the zebra crossing more 

Highlighted Zebra Crossing in bright and vibrant colours to attract pedestrians and encourage greater usage of the zebra crossing

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To reduce the Zebra Crossing periphery from 147 M to 94 M, shortening the distance.


Introduce footprints and colourful Zebra crossing to Nudge people and encourage them to take the route. (Footsteps would subconsciously guide the pedestrians to follow them).





People seemed to follow what the majority did.

(i.e: NOT wear a helmet)


Defaulters don't hesitate to pay 100/- for not wearing a helmet.


People not wearing the helmet know the importance of helmet but choose not to wear it. 


People believe helmet is not required at slow speed or for short distances. 


The officials wore a helmet and followed rules as they feel responsible and a sense of guilt on failing to comply. 




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Key Verbatims

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Over the span of 6 weeks, many PSIs/ officers were interviews about why they comply with the laws/ rules.






Focus Group Discussion




"We know our safety better"




"Law strict nahi hai"




"Heavy, suffocating and hot"




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"Spitting is difficult"




"Troublesome to remove"




"It impairs our vision and hearing"




"Size not available"




"Carrying, storing and helmet protection against theft"








Common reasons for not wearing a helmet.





100/- challan is not seen as a big amount against time and inconvenience.


Thus, the thing that they value more i.e; time or convenient need to be also put on stake. 



The illusion of control makes one take more risks. 

They feel that they have control of the circumstances and are less likely to have a negative experience and they know their safety better.



Cognitive Dissonance reduces compliance. The traffic rule imposition and monitoring are fairly new and not uniform across the country and for the longest time the rules have been loose and extremely flexible.



Sense of responsibility results in a higher chance of compliance.  


Design Solutions

Solution 3.1 - Helmet For Fine

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First Challan: Fine

Second Challan: Make the defaulter pay for a helmet and take that.

This will add a sense of loss, liability and fear of collecting multiple helmets. It will make the loss more tangible.


Solution 3.2 - Traffic Buddy

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" Does a sense of responsibility invoke better compliance than enforcement?"


First two times: Warning

Third time: Be a traffic cop

The defaulter would be given a recognition card and will have to complete a certain no. of hours managing traffic. 

This person would be seen as fellow traffic manager rather than a defaulter. 

Roles: Co-ordinate, manage and warn. 


The 'Visual Nudge' solution was implemented at the Dafnala Junction of Ahmedabad with the help of the Ahmedabad Police.

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Over the next couple of days there was a rise in the number of pedestrians using the footsteps as guide to cross the road hence, increase the compliance of walking on the Zebra crossing

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Design is essentially a creative problem-solving. Traffic, a seemingly unrelated field to design, gave me the opportunity to understand the importance and need for design interventions. This project urged me to see the issues deep-rooted causes of problems rather than the superficial obvious ones. It was also an immense amount of learning to deal with a wide range of stakeholders of the traffic system: citizens, the police department, design strategists, municipal corporation, executors to name a few.

The hurdles we faced during the implementation made me understand the importance of real-time realignment and re-adaptation of the solution to address the circumstances and still produce effective results. 

Complete Project Report

Project Team

Anshika Chaurasia | Anushtha Singh | Aswathy Subhash | Tanaya Lal | Tavleen Chohan 

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