Road safety is very much the responsibility of drivers. Stressing the role of planning ahead while driving and reducing speed to match the risks is part of our everyday tasks. Pedestrians don’t need licenses; they can and do cross the road anywhere they wish. Ensuring that you look, see and respond properly to every type of pedestrian crossing and anticipate the actions of any pedestrians generally will help the continuing downward trend of casualty reduction.

Outside the car we are all pedestrians and although the number involved in road incidents is falling, pedestrian deaths and injuries are still prevalent. Pedestrians are vulnerable road users with little protection and so all drivers must be particularly aware of them, especially the young and the old. Research also shows that the less affluent the area, the higher the risk levels to pedestrians statistically.

We summarise the approach system for pedestrian crossing as Mirrors Signal Manoeuvre (MSM). This lesson focuses on knowledge of different types of pedestrian crossing, along with an ability to judge and correctly respond to pedestrians wishing to cross.

The need to use a safe system of approach – MSM

Mirrors - The importance of checking for traffic following closely by using the interior mirror. Using the outside mirrors when and where necessary on approach.

Arm Signal - The importance of giving a slowing down arm signal on approach to a zebra crossing where people are waiting to cross, in good time, where it is necessary.

Position - The importance of normal road positioning

Speed - The importance of correct amount of gentle braking to bring the speed down in enough time to give way; not overtaking on approach to, or within, the zigzag lines.

Look – The importance of continuous observation. You should watch carefully the behaviour of pedestrians near the crossing and those using the crossing.

Mirrors Signal Manoeuvre (M-S-M)


well before


Arm Signal

On approach to a

Zebra Crossing

Correct regulation of speed


Approaching too fast/slow



Give way where necessary to pedestrians

Do Not

hand beckon to cross road

Direction Indicators


where necessary and in good time correctly

Do not

insist on uncessary signals


Pedestrian crossing

Below are some of the clues to look out for pedestrian crossing where you should not park your vehicle or overtake:

a pedestrian crossing sign,

a traffic light sign,

a school patrol sign,

a yellow box on the traffic light pole,

zig-zag lines on the road,

flashing beacons

A pedestrian crossing sign, A traffic light sign, A school patrol sign,

Once you have identified a pedestrian crossing look ahead check your interior mirrors and scan for any pedestrians ahead and be prepared to stop if necessary.

In a queue of traffic you should always keep the all crossings clear. You may be committing an offence if you block a pedestrian crossing. Some of the pedestrian crossings are as below;

Pelican crossing: Flashing amber light means if there are any pedestrian you must stop and give them way to cross.

Puffin crossing: This crossing has sensors that are activated when pedestrians presses the button on the yellow box. When the signal turns red the sensors sense the movement on the crossing and keep them red till no movement is detected. You must not proceed unless the signal indicated green.

Toucan crossing: Both pedestrians and cyclist use this crossing.

Pegasus crossing: Both pedestrians and horses use this crossing.

Zebra crossing: Flashing beacons are generally present so that you can wait and allow the pedestrians to cross.

School crossing patrol: You must stop when the crossing controlling patrol hold the sign in the air. When the patrol has stepped back you can continue to move forward if it is safe and there are no school children waiting to cross.


Frequently asked questions-

1. Some of the faults to avoid while approaching crossroads are as below;

 Not showing recognition of the crossing or nearby pedestrians

 Not applying the MSM routine

 Speed too high on the approach

 Not giving way where necessary

 Stopping on crossing

 Beckoning pedestrians to cross

 Waiting needlessly at flashing amber lights

2. What is the significance of the white zig-zag lines?

White zig-zag lines are placed either side of the pedestrian crossing areas at all UK pedestrian crossings. White zig-zag road markings are enforced 24 hours a day, each day of the year and do not need a sign to enforce the no parking prohibition. Prohibition of parking in the white zig zag area increases the safety of pedestrians crossing the road as they will have a clear view or the road in both directions. An unobstructed view of the crossing for motorists is especially important at zebra crossings and light controlled crossings where the lights have changed to green for the motorists but a pedestrian may still be crossing - this can be particularly relevant to the elderly who may take longer to cross or children crossing at an inappropriate time.

Food for thought – (You should give a think to the below and discuss this with your instructor)

What should you not do on the crossing?



Contents of this lesson are taken from:

DVLA – The Official Highway Code

Adi News Magazine

LDC Driving School’s YouTube videos

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