Roads are constructed for people to move around freely with safety from accidents. One of the best features of any road these days is the pedestrian crossing. Those are marked places on the streets where walkers can cross the road securely while motor vehicles stop to let them pass.
These are places on the road where vehicle drivers give them a priority. These zigzag lines are designed with several signals and set of rules. No vehicle can stop or park on top of a crossing.
Along with this, there are many things that both drivers and pedestrians should learn about it. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about pedestrian crossing in a decorated and precise manner.
What are the Types of Pedestrian Crossing
Before diving you need to know the kinds of a pedestrian crossing, you may see on the road. It is our lack of knowledge that we think there is only one type of crossing that is designed in black and white zigzag marks. This is not the only one.
There are at least 5 variations of pedestrian crossing that can be observed all over the world. Let us have a brief understanding of all these pedestrian crossings:
Zebra crossings are probably the most common type seen all over the world. The traditional design of black and white zigzag markings covers the whole width of the road. When pedestrians and vehicle drivers approach a zebra crossing, they will see an amber beacon flashing.
Some zebra crossing may not include any traffic lights, as it is commonly reflected as a place where pedestrians would cross. So, it is vital that as a driver, you always check the area while passing over a zebra crossing.
There is one type of zebra crossing that is split in the middle. This type of zebra crossing implements as two separate crossings on the same street and place.
These crossings include zigzag lines with only one colour, which is white. It also consists of a traffic light that lights up when pedestrians press a button.
A pelican crossing is only activated when pedestrians press a button that changes the traffic light from green to amber and finally to red. As you can guess, the red light indicates that pedestrians are trying to cross the road, and vehicles must stop even if there is no traffic signal. The traffic light is turned on for a limited time.
Pelican crossings can be both straight line and staggered. Staggered lines are treated as a separate crossing.
Puffing is the short form of Pedestrian User-Friendly Intelligent Crossing. Puffin crossings look similar to a pelican crossing. The difference is that it includes a sensor that can detect the crossing speed of the pedestrian. If the pedestrian is crossing slowly, it holds the red light longer until the pedestrian has crossed the road. Moreover, puffing crossings do not have any amber pedestrian traffic light. It only has a green and red light.
As the weird name suggests, two can cross over a toucan crossing. Both pedestrians and cyclists can cross over a toucan crossing.
Toucan crossings look like pelican crossings and can usually be found near cycle lanes or parking. Toucan crossings do not include any flashing amber lights as well.
Pegasus crossings are the most uncommon types of the crossing. They allow pedestrians and horse rides to cross a road. They also have two buttons at two different heights. The lower button is for pedestrians, and the higher button is for horse riders to change the traffic light while crossing the road.
Understanding the Pedestrian Crossing Sign
The pedestrian sign is a diamond-shaped warning sign. This sign indicates that the upcoming street or area will be heavily crowded. As a result, vehicle drivers become aware and drive accordingly to avoid any accidents.
The crossing sign is yellow with a person in black on top of it. The sign is shaped like a diamond. Sometimes, there can be black lettering on top of the yellow background. The symptoms are seen near city centres, schools, hospitals, and other places where there is a high chance of pedestrian activity.
Sometimes vehicle drivers may also encounter crossing signs in the wilds. Drivers should remember that the sign is displayed due to heavy pedestrian traffic in an area. So, the drivers must be careful, slow, and absolutely attentive.
How to Use the Pedestrian Crossing Lights
The pedestrian crossing lights are signals that indicate crosswalk signs. When light is functioning properly, it can mean either the pedestrian can walk through or cannot walk and must wait. Here is a short description of the 3 types of pedestrian crossing lights:
The walking person symbol
The walking person symbol is usually a white light signal. It indicates that the street is safe to cross, and pedestrians can cross the road while vehicles are at a halt. The symbol is steady when pedestrians are allowed to walk.
The flashing “Walk” symbol
The flashing walk signal is a flashing amber pedestrian crossing light. It shows that the pedestrian has almost completed crossing the road. Any pedestrian is advised not to begin crossing the path when this light is flashing.
The “flat hand” symbol
This symbol, as the name suggests, displays a flat palm. The symbol light is usually orange in colour. It indicates that pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road and must wait until the white “walking person” symbol lights up.
Along with the white, amber, and orange light signals, there is an audio signal included in some areas. Places that are very busy with dense traffic or usually residential areas have the sound signal system.
In this system, there is a high-pitched sound attached to the traffic lights so that vehicles can be adequately alerted. The audio signal is also synchronized with the visual signals for blind people’s assistance.
The pedestrian crossing signal is a simple topic for both walkers and drivers to understand and memorize correctly. Following the rules that are associated with the crossings, lights and signs are fundamental.
Not abiding by the rules may inflict legal cases upon those people, and even cause catastrophic accidents. Both drivers and pedestrians should be profoundly careful while crossing the road.