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Pedestrian Crossing Rules in UK

Check out the basic rules for wayfarers using pedestrian crossings. The Highway Code says you should wait and make sure all traffic has stopped.

HIGHWAY CODE PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS: You should avoid crossing on the zig-zag side lines. Cross over the zebra tram-line markings or between the road studs.

Rule 18: You MUST NOTloiter on any type of pedestrian crossing.

Flashing Beacons Highway Code

Allow enough time for traffic in all directions to see you and stop before you start to leave the pavement. Note that all vehicles will need more time to stop if the road conditions are icy or slippery.

Rule 19: Specific rules apply to zebra crossings with flashing beacons. Traffic is not required to stop until there is a pedestrian on the crossing.

Thus, continue looking and listening while you cross. Use extra caution observing for vehicles overtaking any stationary traffic.

Rule 20: There are extra rules for zebra crossings and staggered pelican or puffin crossings with a central island refuge. Consider these types of pedestrian crossings as two separate crossings. Wait in the middle island and refer to Highway Code rule 19 to cross.

Highway Code Crossings Traffic Lights

Rule 21: Follow these rules of pedestrian crossings regulations at highway and road traffic lights.

  • Look out for special signals at traffic lights for pedestrians. In all cases, you should only start to cross the road when the green figure is showing.
  • The green figure may change once you have started to cross the road. But, you should still have enough time to get to the other side of the road if it goes out. Even so, never dawdle or linger while crossing the road.
  • There are special rules for pedestrians at crossings where there are no traffic signals. In this case, watch carefully and do not cross until you see red traffic lights and all traffic has stopped.
  • Keep looking in both directions as you cross and check for traffic that might be turning a corner.

Note: Some Highway Code traffic lights allow the traffic to move in some lanes even when vehicles have stopped in other lanes.

Using Pedestrian Crossings: Rules and RegulationsPelican and Puffin and Toucan Crossings

A green light means you can start to cross the road and you should go without delaying.

Otherwise, wait for the red traffic light and stationary vehicles before crossing. Be aware that some traffic light systems allow for several simultaneous actions.

Pelican Crossing Rules

Rule 22: Pelican crossings are signal-controlled crossings. They get activated by pedestrians pushing the control button.

Red means you should not cross and a continuous green light means you may cross with extra caution. A flashing green figure means if you are not already crossing you should not start.

Puffin Crossing Rules

Rule 23: There is a difference between Pelican Crossings and Puffin Crossings. It refers to the placement of the red and green figure lights. The figures are usually situated on your roadside and above the control box.

Rule 24: Puffin Crossings do not have the green flashing phase. Press the button to operate the crossing device and wait for the green figure to show.

Toucan Crossing Rules

Rule 25: Toucan crossings are push-button operated and light-controlled crossings. They allow cycle riders who are crossing and pedestrians to see the green signal. That means they can share crossing space together.

Note: It is toucan crossings that allows cyclists to ride across. The name ‘toucan’ derives from the fact that ‘two can’ use this type of crossing.

Rule 26: Some crossings produce a sound or voice signal. This helps to alert blind or partially sighted pedestrians. The bleeping sound means the solid green figure is showing.

Highway Code Equestrian Crossings

Rule 27: Equestrian crossings get used by horse riders in the road. The main difference is wider crossing spaces and pavement barriers. Equestrian crossing also have horse and rider images in the light boxes with control panels higher up.

Rule 28: This part of the Highway Code regulations refers to staggered pelican or puffin crossings. They become two separate crossings when they are on each side of the central refuge and not in line.

Press the button again and wait for a steady green figure once you reach the zebra crossing central island.

Authorized Pedestrian Crossings

Rule 29: Authorized Crossings get controlled by authorized persons. They may include traffic wardens, police officers, or a school patrol – often called a lollipop lady. You should always wait for the signal to cross and then do so in front of the authorized traffic warden.

Rule 30: You may find situations where there are no controlled crossing points. It is best to cross at a point where there is an island situated in the middle of the road.

In this case you should use the Green Cross Code (Highway Code Rule 7). Cross to the island and then stop. Then, use the same rules to cross the second half of the road.

Note: You can request a pedestrian crossing from the local council authority online if you are living in England or Wales.

How to Use Pedestrian Crossings in the United Kingdom