Are you using zebra crossings as the Highway Code tells you?

New study suggests nearly half of motorists don’t use them correctly

The first zebra crossing to appear in the UK was in Slough, Berkshire, back in 1951, yet despite being around for over 60 years it seems most drivers still don’t know how to use them properly.
According to a recent study by Direct Line, 80% of motorists find pedestrian crossings slightly confusing, whilst nearly half (46%) of drivers assume that they legally have to stop if someone is waiting on the side of the road to cross over.
However, according to Rule 195 of the Highway code this isn’t the case and drivers are not obliged to give way to pedestrians stood waiting to cross.

Are you using zebra crossings as the Highway Code tells you?

New study suggests nearly half of motorists don’t use zebra crossings correctly © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The law states in the Highway Code that drivers approaching a zebra crossing “MUST give way when a pedestrian has moved onto a crossing.”
The rule also states that drivers ought to “look out for pedestrians waiting to cross and be ready to slow down or stop to let them cross” and that drivers should never “wave or use your horn to invite pedestrians across; this could be dangerous if another vehicle is approaching” and “be aware of pedestrians approaching from the side of the crossing.”
The study found that less than 20% of motorists had no idea that you were allowed to continue driving if the pedestrian on the side of the road hadn’t yet stepped foot onto the crossing.
An alarming 8% of drivers confessed to not having a clue what to do when they approach a zebra crossing, whilst 4% believed that drivers should only have to stop if the pedestrian is half way across the black and white lines.
Failing to give way to pedestrians could land you in hot water if caught by the police, possibly being hit with a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.
Direct Line claim there’s around 20 collisions between drivers and pedestrians every day, which equates to around 7,000 each year.
The car insurance company are working on a new smart crossing which uses LED lights to inform drivers when a pedestrian is stepping out onto the road, as well as changing in size depending on how many pedestrians are waiting to cross.
“As we developed the technology, it became apparent that the potential for what could be done was far greater than we had initially imagined, which is why we have made the technology open source and are continuing to work with partners to explore ways to modernise the pedestrian crossing,” said Rachael Lynch, innovation marketing manager at Direct Line.
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