What Are Different Types Of Pedestrian Crossings?

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What Are Different Types Of Pedestrian Crossings?

What Are Different Types Of Pedestrian Crossings

As a driver it’s important to be aware of the different types of pedestrian crossings on UK roads. Not only for pedestrian safety but you may also be asked about them, or come across them, during your driving test.

The role of pedestrian crossings is to help pedestrians cross the road safely. In this article we’re going to look at five pedestrian crossings and their differences.

Zebra Crossings

A zebra crossing may be the pedestrian crossing that you are most familar with. It is defined by black and white stripes on the road and gives way to pedestrians, without the use of any traffic lights.

As you approach a zebra crossing, you will notice a flashing amber light and white zigzag lines. Pedestrians must finish crossing safely to the opposite side of the road, before motor vehicles can move off again.

All road users must stop to allow pedestrians waiting and failure to do so can result in a fine or penalty points on your licence. Split zebra crossings should be treated as two separate crossings.

Pelican Crossings

A Pelican crossing uses buttons, traffic lights, and sound to help pedestrians cross the road safely. Usually found in busy areas, such as town centres, a pelican crossing works when a pedestrian presses a button on a control box, which then brings motorists to a stop by a red traffic light. Pedestrians are then indicated that it is safe to cross by a steady green figure and the sound of beeping.

Toucan Crossings

A toucan crossing is another signal controlled crossing and allows cyclists to cross as well as pedstrians. Hence the name “two-can”, meaning that both cyclists and pedestrians can cross. This crossing is defined by a cylist and person on the control panel display.

These types of crossings are usually found near a park or cycle lanes. They don’t have a flashing amber signal but operate using a normal traffic light.

Puffin Crossings

A puffin crossing is a Pedestrian User-Friendly Intelligent crossing. They look similar to a pelican crossing but have sensors on top of the traffic lights. They can detect if pedestrians are crossing at a slower pace and hold the red traffic light longer, allowing them to cross safely.

They are operated using normal traffic signals.

Pegasus crossings

Pegasus crossings, also known as equestrian crossings, are designed for horses as well as pedestrians. These are less common than the other crossings mentioned above and you will usually find them near racecourses or areas where horses train.

A pegasus crossing allows horse riders to cross safely using traffic signals and it’s important to avoid any sudden movements or loud engine noises, as this may startle the horses.


We hope that this article has been a useful guide to the different pedestrian crossings that you will come acriss when driving. These crossings help to foster pedestrian-friendly communities and understanding them will help you to be a safe and considerate motorist.

Olie Smith
Olie Smith
Olie Smith is a DSA Fully Approved Driving instructor with years of professional experience in driver training. Oliver set up Totally Driving to give a more bespoke, personal feel to driving lessons.

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