Zebra crossings, Pelican crossings and the lollipop lady

The 17th August is World Pedestrian Day. The first ever pedestrian fatality was Mrs Bridget Driscoll when she was run over on the 17th August 1896 by a car driving at 4 miles per hour – that’s 6.4 kilometres per hour!

At that time there were only around 20 petrol engine cars in existence in the UK and no driving licence was required to be able to drive a car!

Nowadays cars are a part of our daily lives and pedestrians and drivers must be aware of road safety!

Let’s look at some types of pedestrian crossing:

Zebra crossings

A zebra crossing is a path across a road marked with black and white stripes where pedestrians should cross. They have no traffic lights although they do have yellow beacons.

Drivers must stop at zebra crossings to let pedestrians cross the road.

Pelican crossings

A pelican crossing is a pedestrian crossing which is controlled by traffic lights. The pedestrian presses a button if they want to cross the street and must wait for the green man to light up to cross safely. You will see LOOK LEFT or LOOK RIGHT on the road in front of you to indicate which way you should check for cars before crossing.

The lollipop lady

The lollipop lady is, traditionally, a woman (although there are also lollipop men) who helps children to cross the road near a school by standing in the middle of the road with a special sign which is circular on a stick (hence the name lollipop) indicating for cars to stop so that the children can cross safely.

Remember to always look left and right when crossing the street!



World Pedestrian Day = Día mundial del peatón

fatality = muerte

run over = atropellar

driving licence = carnet de conducir

road safety = seguridad vial

pedestrian crossing = cruce de peatones

zebra crossing = paso de cebra

traffic lights = semáforos

beacons = luces al lado de pasos de cebra (también significa faro)

pelican crossing = paso peatonal

the lollipop lady = una señora que ayuda a los niños a cruzar la calle en zonas de colegios