Home > Other Road Users > Pedestrian Crossings

Pedestrian Crossings

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 9 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
Pedestrian Crossing Pelican Crossing

Pedestrian crossings can be dangerous for those trying to cross the road. In built-up areas, 20% of all road accidents involving pedestrians happen on or near pedestrian crossings. Here are some tips on what you can expect at pedestrian crossings, and how you should behave.

Where Will I Find Pedestrian Crossings?

  • Pedestrian crossings are found where large numbers of people want to cross a busy road.
  • This is especially true in built-up areas where accidents tend to occur, and places where there are many vulnerable pedestrians such as outside schools.

Vulnerable Pedestrians

  • Look out for the most vulnerable pedestrians- children, the elderly and the disabled.
  • Children don't always have road awareness. They can't necessarily judge how far away a vehicle is or how fast it is travelling. Be aware of this - particularly when you drive past schools.
  • The elderly and the disabled may have problems seeing and hearing oncoming traffic. They too may have difficulty assessing the speed and distance of approaching traffic, and may not be as quick to move away as you might have anticipated.
  • Some pelican crossings have a beeper to let blind people know when to cross the road.
You should therefore be aware of vulnerable pedestrians, and act accordingly.

School Crossings

If there is a lollipop person overseeing children crossing the road, be sure to leave plenty of space when parking. Slow down and be aware of having to stop if necessary, particularly in poor weather.

Puffin Crossings

  • These are more modern versions of pelican crossings.
  • They have automatic sensors that sense when pedestrians are wanting to cross the road.
  • They postpone the green light until the pedestrian has got to the other side of the road.
  • The sequence is Red, red and amber, green, amber, red
  • You should stop at the crossing if the lights are red, and wait for them to turn green before driving off.

Pelican Crossings

  • Pelican crossings have the usual traffic light sequence of red, amber and green. But what makes them different is the flashing amber light
  • You should stop at the crossing if the lights are amber, and wait for the lights to turn green before leaving.

Toucan Crossings

  • These are used by cyclists as well as pedestrians. Cyclists can ride straight across the road.
  • Like pelican crossings, they are aware of pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
  • You should wait for the green light before driving off.

Zebra Crossings

  • These have the black and white stripes of a zebra, with flashing orange lights at either end.
  • They don't have traffic lights, so there is no light to tell you when to stop.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way as soon as they start to cross the road. You should stop at the crossing if a pedestrian is crossing the road or waiting to cross.

Traffic Islands

  • These are situated in places where a pedestrian crossing can't be built.
  • Pedestrians cross one half of the road, with a place in the middle of the road to wait to cross the other half.
  • Drivers have the right of way.
Knowing how to behave at pedestrian crossings is vital to road safety as this is where most pedestrian accidents happen. This advice should provide you with the right information on what to do.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
"In built-up areas, 20% of all road accidents involving pedestrians happen on or near pedestrian crossings." Not a very useful statistic. Not surprisingly crossings are put where a lot of people want to cross a road. Perhaps 20% of pedestrians crossing the road do so at or near a crossing or - more likely - more than 20% do. Remember - correlation does not imply causation. Oh, and in reply to Car Sale Dallas, above, you put the crossing at the desire line. Put it further away and many people won't use it but will jay-walk instead (not illegal in the UK, of course), creating an even greater danger.
rogerh - 9-Mar-17 @ 4:33 PM
Why are there always pedestrian crossings right next to a roundabout or busy junction when a driver is already looking out for other traffic, let alone pedestrians crossing also? In the Uk there seems to be this culture of placing crossings on the exit road as you negotiate a roundabout which makes no sense whatsoever. You put your foot down to exit the roundabout (and to not hold anybody up as you find the right gap) then you slam the brakes on because a pedestrian crossing is now right in front of you - madness. Regards, Rob of car sale Dallas
Car Sale Dallas - 15-Jul-11 @ 12:46 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments