How not to fail on pedestrian crossings

When driving, you will encounter pedestrians in different situations. Knowing how to deal with them safely is one of the many skills needed to be a safe driver and pass your driving test. There are different types of pedestrian crossings and each one has its own rules. Understanding those rules could be the difference between passing or failing a test or worse, running someone over.

Let's start with the most common one.

Zebra crossing

When it comes to dealing with zebra crossings, the first thing you should do is realise that you are approaching a zebra crossing. Without realising there is s crossing you will not be able to slow down or react in time should a pedestrian cross the road.

Identifying a zebra crossing

Zebra crossings have the distinctive black and white stripes on the floor, hence the name zebra. Unfortunately you won't always see these lines until it is too late, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area you are driving in.

For some harder to see zebra crossings you will get a warning sign telling you that you are approaching a

pedestrian crossing.

Even if you miss the warning sign, there are orange flashing lights (Also known as Belisha beacons) on each side of the crossing which can be seen from far away. These are also there to warn you that you are approaching a zebra crossing.

There are also zig zag lines on the floor leading to the zebra crossing just in case you have missed the flashing beacons.

What should I do one I have seen the flashing beacons?

Once you have seen the beacons you need to start thinking about your speed.

Is your speed slow enough should a pedestrian cross on that crossing?

If it is not, you need to check all your mirrors so you can see who is around you just in case you need to slow down.

Once you have checked your mirrors and slowed down slightly, you need to start scanning for pedestrians that are on the crossing, waiting to cross or walking towards the crossing.

What should I do if someone is crossing already?

You must slow down and let them cross all the way. If they are still crossing once you have reached the crossing you must stop the car and let them cross.

What should I do if someone is waiting to cross?

Once someone is waiting to cross at a zebra crossing you much stop for them and let them cross as they have priority. You have to be very careful with this situation as a lot of pedestrians will assume that you have seen and start crossing even before you stop.

Useful Tip:

A common mistake some learners make is thinking that because the pedestrian is just waiting there, they must not want to cross. This is not the case, some pedestrians won't start crossing until you have come to a full stop for safety reasons.

How do I know that a pedestrian is waiting to cross the road?

You will get occasions where people are just hanging around by a zebra crossing with no intention of crossing. You will not know this until you get closer. The safest thing to do is to stop.

Try to make eye contact with the pedestrian, if they still don't cross then proceed carefully checking both sides of the crossing for any other people that may have started to cross.

What do I do if I see people walking towards the crossing?

When approaching a crossing, you need to keep an eye on people th