Light Controlled Crossings – Pelican, Puffin and Toucan

Ever wondered what the difference between light controlled crossings are?

There are three main types of light-controlled crossings for pedestrians:

  • Pelican
  • Puffin
  • Toucan (Equine)

Then, of course, there’s the Zebra Crossing which isn’t light-controlled but will have flashing Belisha beacons.

You may have seen all of these but have not necessarily noticed much difference between them. There are differences, but the basics are the same.

Pelican, Puffin Or Toucan Light Controlled Crossings

Always approach pedestrian light controlled crossings with care and the intention of stopping should it become necessary, no matter what the lights say.

If there are pedestrians on the crossing, you MUST give way to them and let them continue to the kerb and clear of the crossing.

Most crossings have the red textured paving and dropped kerbs for ease of access for disabled people, wheelchairs and baby buggies. They will also have white painted zig-zag lines which mean no parking and no overtaking on approach.

There may be an advanced warning triangle sign, especially if there is a bend in the road before the crossing.

What To Look Out For At Light Controlled Crossings

All of these crossings have traffic lights to control the traffic and allow the pedestrian time to cross.

Sometimes the crossing user is a cyclist (Toucan Crossing) or mounted on horseback (Equine). These people use the crossing along with pedestrians.

With the Toucan crossing, there may be a cycle lane system in the area, and with the Equine crossing, perhaps a bridleway.

One difference is the height of the button to activate the crossing lights. For instance, a horse rider can be a couple of metres off the ground, so it would be difficult to lean over to operate a low button.

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