Different types of pedestrian crossings


When you see a pedestrian crossing, your first reaction should be to follow the MSPSL method, as follows:

Mirrors: What’s behind you and how close?

Signal: This is unlikely – see hand signals in highway code for when an arm signal is necessary.

Position There may be parked cars around the crossing so leave a safe gap, in case someones car door opens etc.

Speed: If you can see the lights have just turned red or pedestrians are approaching a zebra – then try to time your approach so you don’t get there and suddenly have to brake hard. This can scare the pedestrians around the crossing.

Look: look out for pedestrians that have pressed the pelican button on the yellow box – a white wait light should appear. That’s a clue the lights may change. Scan the crossing early to see hazards developing early and to avoid braking hard on the approach. Also make sure you stop just before the stop/give-way line. Stopping over is an offence and can be deemed as a serious fault on the driving test.


Red = Stop

Amber(steady) = STOP , if you can do so safely

Red/Amber = Get ready to go

Flashing Amber = Go if the crossing is clear

Green = Go, if safe to do so.


Zebra: Black and white lines printed on road. Flashing amber beacons on both sides of road means you can go if the crossing is clear.

Pelican: Stop lines printed on the road indicate where to stop. Avoid stopping over them or on the crossing. These also have a yellow box that the pedestrian presses, so look out on the approach for a white wait light.

Puffin: Same layout as a pelican, except these have sensors on top of the crossing and detect movement. So if someone presses the button and walks off, the lights won’t change and hold up the traffic un-necessarily.

Toucan: Same sequence as pelican. Only difference is cyclists can ride accross. You should usually see a blue cycle route sign near the crossing to help determine it’s a toucan on your approach.