Although there are several different types of pedestrian crossing, some rules and advice apply to all of them.

  • You must not park on a pedestrian crossing or on the zigzag lines near it.
  • Do not overtake near a crossing.
  • Keep crossings clear when queuing in traffic.
  • If either side of the crossing is blocked by queuing traffic, look out for pedestrians crossing between these vehicles.
  • Allow pedestrians plenty of time to cross.

Check The Highway Code for more details of the rules that apply to pedestrian crossings (GOV.UK).

Warning lights make it easier for road users to see pedestrian crossings. Watch out for these so you’re ready to stop if necessary.

  • Zebra crossings have flashing yellow beacons on both sides of the road and black and white stripes on the crossing.
  • Pelican crossings have traffic lights: when the flashing amber light shows, you must give way to pedestrians on the crossing; if it’s clear you can drive on.
  • Puffin crossings have traffic lights but they also have a device to detect when pedestrians are on the crossing and delay the green light until the pedestrians have crossed.

Train and tram crossings

A level crossing is where the road crosses a railway or tramway line.


  • drive onto the crossing unless the road is clear on the other side
  • drive over it ‘nose to tail’ in case the vehicle in front breaks down
  • stop on or just after the crossing
  • park close to the crossing.

If there are lights, you must obey the signals. A steady amber light followed by twin flashing red lights warn that a train or tram is approaching.

Do not move onto the crossing after the lights show: stop behind the white line on the road. If you’re on the crossing when the amber light comes on, keep going – do not stop on the crossing.

Wait until the lights turn off and the barriers open (if the crossing has barriers) before driving over the crossing. If the lights stay on after a train or tram has passed, it means there’s another one approaching.

Long, low vehicles are at risk of grounding at some railway level crossings where warning signs are displayed. If you need to cross, you must stop where shown and call the number provided on the sign or using the dedicated telephone provided.

Check The Highway Code for more details of the rules that apply to level crossings (GOV.UK).

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