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Understanding Pedestrian Crossings in the UK: A Driver’s Guide

In the UK, pedestrian crossings are common and varied, each designed to ensure the safety of pedestrians as they navigate roads. As a driver, it’s crucial to recognize and approach each type correctly. 


Zebra Crossings 


Look out for white stripes on the road—resembling a zebra’s pattern—and flashing yellow beacons on black and white poles. There are no traffic lights here. **Approach:** 
Slow down and be ready to stop as you near a zebra crossing. If a pedestrian has stepped onto the crossing, you must give way. Always check for late arrivals who may be about to step onto the crossing as you pass. 

Pelican Crossings 

These are signal-controlled crossings identifiable by a traffic light system and a push-button operation for pedestrians. They have a flashing green figure and a steady red figure.
When the light turns red, you must stop. After the red light, a flashing amber light will follow, but you can only proceed if there are no pedestrians currently crossing. During the flashing green figure phase for pedestrians, remain vigilant and prepare to stop until the lights change. 

 Puffin Crossings 

Similar to Pelican crossings, Puffin crossings are also traffic-light-based but have sensors to detect when pedestrians are crossing. They do not have a flashing green figure; instead, the red figure for pedestrians will only change once the crossing is clear. 
Stop when the light is red. Only proceed when the light turns green and the crossing is empty. The sensors will keep the light red for drivers as long as pedestrians are detected on the crossing.  

Toucan Crossings

These are designed for both pedestrians and cyclists to use together and are wider than normal pedestrian crossings. They also operate with a push-button and traffic light system and have a green bike figure alongside the green pedestrian figure.
The rules are similar to Puffin crossings. Stop on red, and you may proceed on green if the crossing is clear. Be especially aware of both pedestrians and cyclists, as this crossing is shared.

School Crossings 

Often indicated by road markings saying ‘SCHOOL’ or flashing amber lights during school hours, they may also have a crossing guard (lollipop person).
 **Approach:** Reduce speed and be ready to stop whenever you see these signs or a crossing guard. Always stop when the guard steps into the road with the stop sign displayed.

Equestrian Crossings 

These are designed for horse riders and have pavement barriers, wider crossing spaces, and often horse and rider figures in the light sequence. 
Treat these as you would a Puffin or Toucan crossing but be prepared for the crossing to take longer due to the size and nature of horses. 
 In all scenarios, patience and vigilance are key. Always approach any type of crossing with caution and be prepared to stop. Ensure the crossing is completely clear of pedestrians, cyclists, or equestrians before proceeding. Remember, the safety of those on foot or wheel always comes first. By familiarizing yourself with these crossing types and their rules, you contribute to safer roads for everyone. If you are unsure, make
sure to let your bookinstructor ADI know so that they can help you!

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