The aim of designing overpasses is to provide safe road crossings for pedestrians by helping them to avoid conflicts with motor vehicles. However, the number of pedestrians who do not use overpasses to cross the road is very high. An observational survey of illegal road crossings was conducted at four overpass locations in Izmir, Turkey to determine the crossing time, crossing speed of the pedestrians and their distance and time gap perception for safe road-crossing within 25 m of the overpasses in both directions. Crossing time is the time needed for a pedestrian to cross a particular road. Time gap is strongly related with safety margin. If a pedestrian chooses a larger time gap, then the arrival time of the oncoming vehicle to the crossing point of the pedestrian increases thus, the possibility of a collision decreases. Each overpass was observed on weekdays during peak afternoon (12.30-13.30) and evening hours (17.00-18.00). At all overpass locations 454 illegal crossings were observed. ANOVA results revealed that age had a significant effect both on safety margin and crossing time. During the observations a survey was conducted among pedestrians who completed their crossings either using the overpass or at street level within 25 m of the overpass (n = 231). Factors affecting the crossing choice of pedestrians were specified in the surveys. The major part of the respondents (71.7%) indicated that time saving was the main reason for crossing at street level. Pedestrians' crossing speeds were extracted from the video recordings to observe the effect of speed limit on pedestrian behavior. As a result, at locations where the speed limit was 70 km/h, pedestrians' average crossing speed was found to be 1.60 m/s and 1.73 m/s while at locations where the speed limit was 50 km/h, pedestrians' average crossing speed was found to be 1.04 m/s and 0.97 m/s. This shows that pedestrians feel safer while crossing when the vehicle speed is low. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.