Crossing the Road Safely

Pedestrians sometimes don’t understand how to use road-crossing places correctly. Similarly many drivers misunderstand who has priority at these crossing places. Hopefully the following advice will explain the use of different crossing places to pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.

Pedestrian Refuges (or Islands)

For pedestrians:
– These help you cross the road in two stages.
– Treat each half of the road as a separate crossing.
– Vehicles have priority.

For drivers:
– Vehicles have priority, but…
– Be aware of people waiting to cross and slow down just in case.

Pegasus Crossing

Equestrian crossings are becoming a popular means of creating a relatively safe means of crossing which is cheaper and more practical on existing roads than the creation of a subway or bridge.

It is important to recognise that even on a controlled crossing the reaction of horses is not predictable and that when startled or upset they may act defensively or try to take flight, which can make control difficult for the rider.

Drivers and other road users should always treat horses as a potential hazard and allow them as much time and space as possible.

Zebra Crossings

Pedestrians:
– Wait until traffic from both directions has stopped before attempting to cross.
– As you cross, keep looking and listening in case motorcyclists or cyclists over/undertake the other stationary traffic.

Drivers:
– Look out for people waiting to cross and be ready to slow down or stop to let them cross.
– You must give way when someone is on a crossing.
– Do not wave someone across – there could be another vehicle approaching.
– Never park on the zig-zag lines on the approaches to these crossings – you could block a pedestrian’s view and be responsible for them being knocked down!
– Never overtake on a crossing.

Pelican Crossings

Pedestrians:
– Do not cross when the “red figure” shows.
– Press the button on the box and wait until the lights change to a steady “green figure”.
– Check that the traffic has stopped and then cross with care, looking and listening for any road user that has disobeyed the traffic lights.
– Do not start to cross when the “green figure” starts flashing, otherwise you will not have time to cross.

Drivers:
– You must stop when the red “Stop” light shows.
– When the amber light is flashing you must give way to any pedestrians on the crossing.
– You should be prepared to give way
to pedestrians who are still crossing when the light has changed to green – they may be elderly or disabled.

Puffin Crossings

Pedestrians:
– This newer style of crossing aims to improve safety for pedestrians, and make it easier for elderly and disabled people to cross the road.
– Detectors tell when people are waiting to cross and also “watch” the crossing and control the signals so that you are given enough time to cross.
– You must wait for the green “figure” signal on the pole next to where you wait to cross before stepping out into the road.

Drivers:
– At Puffin Crossings, the lights change to green as soon as the crossing is clear.
– Drivers are not stopped if there is no-one crossing or waiting to cross.
– The Puffin Crossing has a standard traffic light sequence i.e. no flashing amber.

Toucan Crossings

Pedestrians and Cyclists:
– Toucan Crossings are designed as places for both cyclists and pedestrians to cross safely together.
– Some pedestrians may not see or hear so well, so cyclists should be prepared to move thus avoiding collisions.

Drivers:
– Toucan Crossings appear similar to a Pelican Crossing and similar precautions must be taken.
– Cyclists will use the crossings and there is no flashing amber phase.

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