Pedestrians hold high responsibility in accidents because of their unsafe traffic behaviors. Pedestrian violations are an important traffic safety problem, especially in low and middle-income countries. The problem would be better understood and solved by theory-based research on pedestrian violations. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) and the prototype willingness model (PWM) are two leading decision-making frameworks that are applied to a wide range of behaviors. These theories address the reasoned and social reactive components in decision-making. The current study aimed to compare the TPB and the PWM in pedestrian violations using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results revealed that the TPB, the PWM, and the integrative model of the TPB and the PWM were relevant models in understanding pedestrian violations and violation intentions. However, the explanatory power of the PWM and integrative models were higher than the TPB. These findings indicate that pedestrian violations happen mostly in a social reactive way (through willingness) rather than deliberate (intentional) way. Prototype perceptions, willingness, and perceived behavioral control were the most important predictors of pedestrian violations. The findings are discussed in relation to the efficacy of the TPB and the PWM, as well as the theoretical contributions and applied implications for practitioners. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.