The purpose of a pedestrian crossing is to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. There are two types: uncontrolled crossings (Zebra) and crossings controlled by lights. It is important to use our Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look routine when approaching a zebra crossing. A zebra crossing can be identified by flashing amber lights on top of black and white striped poles. Once identified, you should look into all three mirrors to assess the traffic behind you because, if you need to change your speed, you need to know the position of the vehicles behind you. If someone is too close, you may need to apply the brakes slightly earlier. Once you have checked your mirrors, you must check the crossing, pavement to pavement, and anticipate what may happen, i.e. if there is a pedestrian approaching who may wish to use the crossing or if there is already someone waiting on the pavement, you will need to reduce your speed to come to a controlled stop. You would then apply your handbrake for safety’s sake so that in the unlikely event of someone running into the rear of your vehicle you would not be pushed onto the crossing. Each side of the zebra crossing there are zig-zag lines on the road running parallel to the kerb. These lines indicate that you must not overtake the lead motor vehicle nor park or wait within this area. Also, whilst waiting for a pedestrian to cross, you must never ever beckon them into the road. Once the pedestrian has started to cross and is out of your path, you may continue your journey provided you are 100% certain they are not going to turn round and come back. It is, therefore, best to wait until they have cleared the crossing completely. Some zebra crossings have an island in the middle. This means that the crossing may be treated as two separate halves. However, please be careful because not everybody understands the rules, such as children and the elderly.

The same guidelines apply to crossings controlled by lights, except that the lights will give you a clearer idea of when to stop and when to go. However, you should be alert to pedestrians who ignore the light signals.

There are different names for these light-controlled crossings: Pelican, Puffin, Toucan and Equestrian. For further details on the differences between these crossings, please consult the Highway Code.