There are a number of different types of pedestrian crossings you will come across on the road, some more frequently than others but nevertheless you should understand all of them and know what to do at every type of pedestrian crossing as it is required for both parts of your driving test.
Currently there are 5 types of pedestrian crossings and these are:
- Zebra – A zebra crossing is marked with white and back strips on the road, hence the name zebra, and amber flashing beacons at either side. The Highway Code states that drivers must give way to pedestrians at this, however pedestrians must remain on the side of the curb until the oncoming vehicles have stopped. A zebra crossing is the cheapest pedestrian crossing to build and maintain, however use of these aren’t recommended where the speed limit is higher that 35mph because when travelling at higher speeds, it becomes harder for drivers to see far enough in front to stop at the crossing.
- Pelican – A pelican crossing is one of the more common crossings and this is where there is a red, amber and green light facing the drivers and a red and green man facing pedestrians. When pedestrians push the button to cross the lights facing the drivers turns from green to amber and then red, and the pedestrians walk sign turns from red to green. These crossings are very popular in busy areas as it has a dual function, it acts as a pedestrian crossing and a traffic controller.
- Puffin – A puffin crossing is similar to a pelican crossing however the signal indicating when the pedestrians are able to cross is located above the button they press to active the crossing. This is to encourage pedestrians to face oncoming traffic and look themselves instead of relying on the crossing.
- Toucan – A toucan crossing allows both pedestrians and cyclists to cross at the same time. Similar to a Pelican and puffin crossing although slightly wider at 4 meters rather than 2.8 as the crossing is for both pedestrians and cyclists.
- Pegasus – A pegasus crossing (also known as equestrian crossing in the Highway Code) is similar to a toucan crossing but also allows horses to cross and has a highly mounted button to active the crossing, for the convenience of the horse riders. These are usually found on busy main roads where many crossing movements are made.
When on your driving lessons you will encounter all of the above pedestrian crossing and be taught how to deal with them. You may also come across staggered crossings on your driving lessons. This is nothing new it just means that instead of the crossings been in line and across both sides of the road there is a central island in between and the two crossing are staggered.