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Essential Guide to Pedestrian Crossings

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Do you know your pelican from your zebra? If you don’t there’s no need to worry. In our essential guide to pedestrian crossings you can brush up on your knowledge and know exactly what to do at each crossing when you’re out and about on the roads.


Zebra Crossings

The Zebra is a distinctive crossing known for its white stripes – hence the name. These are also usually marked with yellow flashing beacons either side.


How to use a zebra crossing as a driver:

The general rule for a zebra crossing is to always stop if pedestrians are waiting to cross. You should wait for any pedestrians to reach the pavement before driving over the crossing. If the zebra crossing has a central island, then you can wait for them to reach that rather than the other side of the road.


Pelican Crossings

The most common type of pedestrian crossing is the pelican which is the traditional traffic light crossing. Pedestrians press the button and wait for the green man to glow, sometimes accompanied with a beeping sound.


As a driver, you need to know what the red, amber, and green circle lights mean on traffic lights.

Green = Go, if safe
Amber = Proceed with caution
Red = Stop


Sometimes there can be other signals as well, such as bicycles or arrows.


Puffin Crossing

The puffin crossing is basically an upgraded version of the pelican. Fitted with infrared detectors these traffic lights cleverly detect pedestrians and the lights change in response to their presence. The benefits of these lights is that it gives pedestrians as much time as they need to cross while also preventing unnecessary waiting times for cars.

For drivers, the same rules apply as with pelican crossings.


Toucan Crossing

A lesser seen crossing is the Toucan which enables cyclists to smoothly cross the road without dismantling.


Lollipop Wardens

If you drive during the school run you may encounter a lollipop warden. Usually they carry a stick with a large circle at the top and wear a bright yellow jacket. Their job is to ensure that children safely cross the road outside their school. If a lollypop warden signals with their stick, then you should stop to let them cross.


The ones that you are most likely to encounter on your driving test in Peterborough are the pelican and zebra, but it’s also good practice to know the other types of crossing. At GoGoGo we offer an intensive one week driving course to get you on the road in no time.

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