South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
Safer places to cross
Do you know what a pedestrian is

We all need to cross a road at some point, so it is important to look for a safer place to cross. There are crossings designed especially for pedestrians, which are called pedestrian crossings.


A pedestrian is someone that is walking. In this picture, you can see that the child is holding their adult's hand and that the adult is walking closest to the road so that his daughter is on the inside well away from the road.


Pedestrian Crossings

There are different types of pedestrian crossings.

There are four different types of traffic light pedestrian crossings that use the red and green men:

Pelican Crossing

Puffin Crossing

Toucan Crossing

Pegasus Crossing


Pelican crossing 1Pelican Crossing

This crossing is controlled by traffic lights. If you want to use a Pelican Crossing, you need to press the button on the wait box, which is usually on your right hand side.

Wait for the green man to appear before checking that all the cars have stopped and it is safe for you to cross.

You will find the box with the red and green man across the street in front of you - can you see it in the picture?

If the green man begins to flash DO NOT start to cross the road but if you are already crossing then continue safely to the other side of the road.

Keep checking in both directions, listening carefully until you are safely at the other side of the road.



Puffin red manPuffin Crossing

A Puffin crossing is a Pedestrian User Friendly Intelligent crossing and has lots of special features.


You need to look for the red and green men that are normally on your right-hand side so that you can look for the traffic at the same time as looking for the green man.


Just like the Pelican Crossing, you need to press the button and wait for the green man. Remember to check for moving cars and listen before stepping into the road.


When walking across at the Puffin Crossing, walk between the metal studs on the road if you can as this will mean you will be picked up on the sensors, which will keep the green man on and in turn ensure the traffic lights are on red long enough for the slowest person to get to the other side. The sensors on the traffic lights can also tell if there is anyone waiting to cross once the button has been pressed.


Extra features on the Puffin Crossings are a 'beep' to let blind and partially sighted people know the cars have stopped, a tactile cone on the bottom of the wait box that turns when the green man is showing and tactile paving on the ground for them to feel when they are at a crossing.


ToucanToucan Crossing

The Toucan Crossing is designed for two different types of users, pedestrians and cyclists.


There are two different types of toucan crossing. Both have a red and green man displayed for pedestrians but only the newer ones show a red and green bicycle as well. Where there is only a green bicycle it means a cyclist may cross at any time if it is safe to do so.


The red and green man/bicycles may be on the wait box next to you (like on a Puffin crossing) or may be on the opposite side of the road (like a Pelican crossing).


As you can see in our picture they are on the opposite side of the road.



PegasusPegasus Crossing -

This crossing is also designed for two different users, pedestrians and horse riders.


A Pegasus crossing has two wait boxes. One is at the usual height for pedestrians to press the button to trigger the green man. The second wait box is much higher up so a horse rider can press the button without having to dismount from their horse.


Instead of showing a red and green men will be replaced by horses.



Other types of pedestrian crossings


The other safer places to cross that are NOT controlled by traffic lights are:

Zebra Crossing

School Crossing Patrol Officer (aka lollypop lady/man)


Underpass / Subway

Pedestrian / Refuge Island


Zebra crossingZebra Crossing -

A Zebra Crossing easily identifiable by the alternating coloured stripes painted on the road (which are usually black and white) and a flashing light on each side of the road called a belisha beacon.

Traffic is expected to stop to allow a pedestrian to cross the road when they are stood at the side of the road waiting to cross. To use a Zebra Crossing you need to stand on the kerb wait for the traffic to stop. Don't stand too close incase the traffic is travelling too close to the kerb. Once the traffic has stopped and it is safe for you to cross the road walk on the stropes in a straight line until you reach the other side.

Remember - although you are waiting to cross some cars may not stop. Make sure it is safe before stepping into the road by using your Green Cross Code.



School Crossing Patrol Officer

These patrol officers are also known as a Lollypop Lady or Lollypop Man. This nickname was derived in the 1960's as the circular stop sign used to stop the traffic resembles a lollypop.


Lollipop manA School Crossing Patrol is only in operation when children are on their way to or from school when there is a high number or pedestrians needing to cross the road safely. When a pedestrian needs to cross the road the patrol officer stops the traffic by showing oncoming cars the stop sign.

When the cars have stopped they walk into the centre of the road until all the pedestrians are safely on the other side before returning to the kerb and allowing the traffic to move again.



A bridge designed to allow pedestrians (and sometimes cyclists) away from the traffic below.

Footbridges may also allow you to cross rivers and railway tracks safely.


Underpass / Subway

This is a tunnel that passes underneath a busy road or railway giving a pedestrian a safer way to travel to the other side, keeping them away from the traffic above.

In larger areas like town centres you may find that two or more underpasses meet in the centre of a roundabout and there are multiple exits taking you in different directions.


Pedestrian/Refuge Island

A small section of pavement in the middle of the road.

It is typically used when a road is wide to give pedestrians a safer place to stand allowing them to assess the traffic in each direction separately.



Footbridge Subway Pavement


Dangerous and unsafe places to cross!


Can you see all the incorrect behaviours in each picture?


Crossing road  
  • Not looking and listening to the traffic
  • Listening to music instead of the traffic
  • Looking at his ipod instead of the road
  • Hood up so may not have been able to see properly in either direction, if he had looked
  • Just stepped out and did not stop at the kerb
Hands in pockets
  • Her hands are in her pockets, so if she falls, her hands will not be available to stop her fall
Parked cars
  • Crossing between parked cars can be dangerous as you may not be able to see the road clearly in both directions, but a car may not see you between the cars.
  • He has his hood up also so it may restrict his view in either or both directions when looking
  • The car did NOT stop
  • The boys should have done their Green Cross Code, and checked that the cars had stopped before stepping out onto the zebra crossing
School parking
  • Vehicles should not be parking on any yellow lines outside schools, this creates restrictions to your view when trying to cross the road to get to school
  • Try to cross with your grown up as they can double check the road for you
  • Little children should hold hands with their grown up so they don't run straight into the road
  • Get out of the car on the pavement side, not into the road
  • Be extremely careful if you have to cross between parked cars

Can you think of any other dangers?


Red & Green figure


Red and greenWhat does the red figure mean?


STOP – do not begin to cross the road. Press the button and wait for the green man.


What does the green figure mean?


The green man is your signal to look right, look left and look right again. Listen. Check that the traffic has stopped before you begin to cross the road. Keep checking until you are safely across the road.


Green Cross Code


Don't forget even when you use a pedestrian crossing to get across the road, you still need to use the Green Cross Code.

Activity sheets
Police activity sheet
Police Officers (PDF)

What do Police Officers wear when they are out and about? Colour him in so that people can see him.

Lollipop man activity sheet
Lollipop Man (PDF)

Colour in the school crossing patrol warden to make sure he can be seen by traffic when doing his job.

Green man activity sheet
The Green Man (PDF)

When crossing at a pedestrian crossing it is always important to wait for the green man, whilst watching and listening for the traffic stopping.

Red man activity sheet
The Red Man (PDF)

NEVER cross on a red man at a pedestrian crossing. If it is a red man for pedestrians it means that the cars are on green and can keep going.

Parked cars activity sheet
Parked Cars (PDF)

Be aware of crossing between parked cars.

Zebra crossing activity sheet
Zebra Crossings (PDF)

Make sure all traffic has stopped before you start to cross the road.

Train safety
Train Safety (PDF)

Railway crossings are very dangerous. Take extreme care when crossing.

Spot the difference 2
Spot the Difference (PDF)

Can you spot the 8 differences on the school crossing patrol warden? 

Spot the difference 1
Spot the Difference (PDF)

Can you spot the 6 difference on the Police Officer?

School gate parking
School Gate Parking (PDF)

Parking outside the school gates can make it difficult to cross safely. Be careful.

Other resources
Green cross code
Green Cross Code & Safer Places to Cross Powerpoint
by Danni Bird
Approved Safe Place poster
Tales of the Road - The Boy Who Didn't Find A Safer Place To Cross Poster (PDF)
Spike safe place to cross
Spike - Stop, Look, Listen, Live (PDF)
Spike bus
Spike - Warning, don't cross if you can't see what's coming (PDF)

Spike crossing patrol
Spike - Cross safely where you see these people (PDF)
Kids copy crossing
Children copy - Crossing the road (PDF)
Puffin crossing instructions
Crossing the road safely at a Puffin Crossing (PDF)
Pelican crossing
Puffin Crossing (PDF)
Zebra crossing
Zebra Crossing (PDF)
Park scene
Park Street Scene (PDF)
Dark road scene
Dark Road Scene (PDF)