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Video-based surveillance systems have a wide range of applications for traffic monitoring, as they provide more information as compared to other sensors. In this paper, we present a rule-based framework for behavior and activity detection in traffic videos obtained from stationary video cameras. Moving targets are segmented from the images and tracked in real time. These are classified into different categories using a novel Bayesian network approach, which makes use of image features and image-sequence-based tracking results for robust classification. Tracking and classification results are used in a programmed context to analyze behavior. For behavior recognition, two types of interactions have mainly been considered. One is interaction between two or more mobile targets in the field of view (FoV) of the camera. The other is interaction between targets and stationary objects in the environment. The framework is based on two types of a priori information: 1) the contextual information of the camera's FoV, in terms of the different stationary objects in the scene and 2) sets of predefined behavior scenarios, which need to be analyzed in different contexts. The system can recognize behavior from videos and give a lexical output of the detected behavior. It also is capable of handling uncertainties that arise due to errors in visual signal processing. We demonstrate successful behavior recognition results for pedestrian-vehicle interaction and vehicle-checkpost interactions.