Translation:Don't cross the road on a red light.
I don't understand how "на красный свет" works grammatically, would someone help me? Is it a set expression, or на+accusative because of the motion and taken somewhat figuratively, or is it another meaning of на+acc, or something else entirely?
This is a good question. People that know more than me: is красный свет essentially being considered a time period here, so this is a time accusative?
Yes. На красный/зеленый свет. На время обеда. На неделю. For ex: Я взял книгу на неделю.
Do people in Russia cross if it's clear or do they wait for a green light? Here in Britain freedom to jaywalk is regarded as a human right.
Last time I visited Moscow, I had more time for walking around the city with my Russian friends and there was a street to cross. Red for pedestrians and no car around. As we naturally do here in Brazil, I proceed to cross (I really don't know if we have this right) but my friend stopped me saying "we always only cross on green. Traffic here is unpredictable". Like... She doesn't cross on red not because it is wrong, but because she is afraid of the traffic... Not sure though if all Russians have this feeling about it.
Human rights won't save you if 2 tones of metal crushes you while you jaywalk on a red signal.
This is true. But I guess we don't have the patience to stand staring at a red light if the 2 tons of metal are nowhere to be seen.
It's just idiomatic. I guess both should probably be accepted, but the expression is always "cross the road."
I don't think so. I think this could only mean "while carrying a red light".