Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. I live in the UK and we have 4 types – the simple black and while markings on the road one is called, like the South African ones, a Zebra Crossing and is accompanied by an amber globe light which blinks constantly and is called a Belisha beacon. The downside of the Zebra crossing is that it relies on drivers being mindful (also known as polite) and noticing that someone is waiting to cross then actually stopping to let them do so. Because this isn’t always possible for drivers, there are also crossings where the pedestrian can effectively ask the traffic to stop. The Pelican Crossing has a button the pedestrian must press as they get to the crossing and then a green man/red man indicator sited like the traffic lights on the opposite side of the road which indicate when a person can or can’t cross. When the green man flashes, it is a warning that the red man is about to leap out and the pedestrian does not have time to start crossing the road but if they are already on their way across they have time to complete the crossing. In London some have a numbered countdown instead of the flashing green man. The Puffin Crossing is very similar to the Pelican, but the red man/green man indicator is part of the same apparatus as the button the pedestrian pushes, so there is no need to be looking across the road. Finally, the Toucan Crossing is a Pelican or Puffin crossing with the addition of a bicycle indicator to show that cyclists are allowed to ride across. All of the crossings include the black and white “zebra” stripes, although these are regular rectangles, not the shaped ones in your South African picture.

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