Young drivers who are still learning the rules of the road need to be made aware of the different types of pedestrian crossings, allowing them to give pedestrians the right of way whenever required. Types of pedestrian crossings were named after animals, so they are easier to remember. Knowing how to approach these various crossing types as both a driver and pedestrian help ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Here is a brief guide on the various types and how to approach them safely.

Zebra Crossings

Zebra crossing is one of the uncontrolled types of crosswalks. Upon approaching these lines, you will notice both white and black stripes, just like a zebra, that make up the crossing. This type gives way for pedestrians to be able to cross the streets without worrying about traffic lights. The absence of traffic lights forces drivers to pay extra attention to the zigzagged crossing; drivers slow down in case pedestrians are crossing the street. Depending on the state you are in, you will find that the laws change. For example, in Texas, most pedestrians have the right of way, and in the event of an accident, they are not at fault. If you are not sure who is considered at fault in these types of accidents, you can browse this post to understand more about the right-of-way laws in Texas. In other places, if you don’t give way to pedestrians at a zebra crossing, you are risking a fine or getting penalty points.

Pelican Crossings

This type is kind of similar to zebra crossings, but instead, it’s controlled by light. In the past, this used to be called a pedestrian light-controlled crossing. All pedestrians need to do to cross the roads safely is to press the button and wait for the prompt from the control panel. When the traffic lights turn red, you can safely cross the streets. When approaching this crossing, you will notice some zigzag lines and metal railings along the side of the road. Once you notice this, you need to slow down to be ready to stop when the lights turn red.

one person crossing the street

Puffin Crossing

This type is more evolved. It’s a pedestrian, user-friendly, intelligent crossing to ensure the safety and convenience for people who are walking down the street. Just like pelican crossing, puffin crossings turn the traffic light red for pedestrians to cross. The only difference here is that puffin crossings have sensors that detect movement. When slower pedestrians are attempting to cross, whether because they are old or are suffering from some issues with walking, these sensors hold the red traffic lights for as long as needed. On the other hand, if a pedestrian pressed the button to cross the street and changed their mind, the request would be canceled by the sensors.

Toucan Crossings

The name Toucan is derived from “two-can.” This crossing type is both for pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross road side by side. In the control panel, you can see both a bicycle and a person. The crossings are wider to accommodate both pedestrians and bicycles to be able to cross. This type is more common around parks and cycle lanes. For young drivers, you need to deal with this type, just like the previously mentioned one. Make sure that you look out for any pedestrians or cyclists that are waiting to cross the road. Don’t forget to apply the mirror signal maneuver routine and slow down to be prepared in case the lights suddenly change to red.

Pegasus Crossing

Just like toucan crossings, this type allows more than pedestrians to cross at the same time. A Pegasus crossing is for pedestrians and horses to cross the road safely. This type of crossing is typically located near race courses and horse training areas to ensure the safety of the horses when they have to cross the streets.

Besides the fact that you will be tested on the various ways of crossing a street during your driving test, you have to be familiar with them to understand the right way of approaching them. Educating yourself more on road rules and what to do in these types of crossings will help you in maintaining safety. Even if you are leaving the days of having to walk to places behind you, getting behind the wheel means that you have to act responsibly. This is why it’s essential to spare a thought for those who are still trudging the pavements. Stay safe and always obey rules of the road, whether driving or on foot.