Pedestrian Crossing Sign: Know Everything

Pedestrian Crossing Sign Featured Image

Almost everyone who has ever visited Canada has walked through one of the pedestrian crossings. Like everything else in Canada, they are subject to rules, and you could easily get into legal problems if you are unfamiliar with them.

So, if you are a long-term resident or a tourist in Canada, it’s a good write-up that would help you polish your pedestrian crossing skills!

Let’s get familiar with different types of pedestrian crossing signs and understand the rules.

Table of Contents

What is the Pedestrian Crossing sign for?

Walking beside major highways can be risky for pedestrians, and the possibility of safety issues increases when there are no sufficient pedestrian crossings nearby. Using a pedestrian crossing sign can prevent similar incidents from happening near and around your site.

At crossings with traffic lights, pedestrian signals assist walkers in crossing. The pedestrian walking signal is a white jogging symbol.

A steady or flashing orange hand symbol indicates that pedestrians should not begin crossing.

Understand Pedestrian Crossing Signs: How to Read the Signs?

Here are some additional pedestrian crossing rules to be aware of:

The Zebra Crossing

These crossings have been coloured with black and white stripes to increase visibility. They direct pedestrians to safe crossing points and notify cars of their presence. Before entering a zebra crossing, slow down when you notice it and yield to pedestrians.

The Pelican Crossing

Pedestrians control the lights at pelican crossings. Pressing a button turns off the red light and enables the amber flashing light, signalling people to cross safely. If you notice the green light, go with caution through the crossing.

The Puffin Crossing

Puffin crossings have similarities to pelican crossings. Because they are above the road, feature sensors trigger the green light while pedestrians wait. It also includes CCTV for improved visibility.

There is no regulated light system at these crossings. In this scenario, you must stop and allow pedestrians the right to proceed if they are crossing or preparing to cross the road.

The Toucan Crossing

A toucan crossing allows people and bikes to cross at the same time. The pedestrian light indicates when it is safe to cross, such as the green cycling symbol indicating that bicycles must only cross when the signal is green.

The Pegasus Crossing

The Pegasus crossing is similar to a toucan crossing. But it is for horses and people. A light-controlled system is used when a bridleway meets the main road. The push-button control is located 2 meters from the ground, and a tiny green horse and rider have switched the small green man light!

The Signal Crossing

Signalled crossings (pelican, puffin, or toucan) have been added into junction signalling arrangements, where the red phase for automobiles includes a signal part for pedestrians crossing at the intersection.

Pedestrians must follow the regulations for the colour of light they face at crossings with traffic control signals but no pedestrian WALK and DON’T WALK signals.

  • Solid Red Light—Do not cross the junction if the signal is solid red.
  • Solid Yellow Light—Clear the junction if you are already walking or do not cross the intersection.
  • Solid Green light—Cross the street in any marked or unmarked crossings.

However, before beginning to cross, pedestrians should look for automobiles.

The Blister Pavements

You may notice bumps in the pavement beneath your feet when standing at crosswalks. These blister coatings at pedestrian crossings alert those with vision impairments to the presence of a crossing and assist them in distinguishing between the pavement and the dropping curb.

They are activated in an L-shape, with the corner of ‘L’ that indicates where the push-button handles are to enable the crossing.

The Audio Signals

Many crossings generate a constant beeping sound when they are safe to cross to alert persons with vision impairments. Audio signals are not utilized on all crossings for safety reasons, such as highways with several crossings in close vicinity or crossings separated by an island.

The Rotating Cones

The cones are designed to assist those with sight impairments in crossing the road. The cone begins to revolve when the light becomes green, signifying that pedestrians get the right way.

Surprisingly, they are not installed at every crossing by default. However, the Department of Transport encourages local governments to employ them wherever feasible on puffin, pelican, and toucan crossings.

Check Also: Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way?

The Pedestrian Crossing Rules

In Canada, pedestrian crossing restrictions are governed by federal and provincial laws. They were created to prevent pedestrians and automobiles from colliding on the road.

The following are the pedestrian road crossing rules in Canada:

  1. It would be best if you crossed only at specified crosswalks. That’s indicated on the road surface by painted lines, signage, or other indications. Crossing at any point inside a crosswalk is permissible. But remember to give way to motorists going onto another street.
  2. When there is no pedestrian crossing sign, you must proceed to either side of the roadway before crossing, allowing motorists to turn onto another street.
  3. Wait for a space in traffic before crossing at pedestrian crossings. If none appear, cross slowly so as not to scare vehicles with your unexpected presence ahead of them.
  4. Crossing a one-way street is only safe if no traffic travels in either direction.
  5. If you cannot utilize a pedestrian crossing or a crossroad due to safety concerns, you may cross the street anyplace it is safe to do so.

Directive for the Drivers

Drivers must always be aware of pedestrians, especially while approaching crossroads and pedestrian crossings.

  1. When a person is in your lane or the ‘mirror’ image lane next to you on an inter street, stop just before the white line. If there are no pedestrians, go carefully until you reach this location.
  2. Passing other cars in the same lane is not permitted unless you are approaching a crossroads, pedestrian crossing, or driveway to surrender. Passing another car within the same lane at a designated pedestrian crossing is forbidden.
  3. Allow pedestrians to cross the complete length of the roadway before proceeding at crossings. Remember to yield to pedestrians in all directions if you turn right at a junction with a pedestrian crossing.
  4. Passing another car at a pedestrian crossing or crosswalk when someone is waiting or has just begun crossing is also unlawful.
  5. Using your horns at a pedestrian crossing may scare pedestrians and is extremely unsafe.

What is the Driver’s Penalty for Violating Rules?

Assume you are caught breaking any pedestrian crossing restrictions. You might risk a penalty and fines on your license in such an event.

Penalties include:

  1. Failure to yield at a pedestrian crossing results in a penalty of up to $1000 and 4 demerit points.
  2. For failing to stop at a red light, there is a penalty of up to $1000 and 3 demerit points.
  3. There is a punishment of up to $2000 and 7 penalty points for not staying at the scene of an accident.

Where are the Pedestrian Crossings Placed?

Pedestrian crossings are often located on busy roadways to assist pedestrians safely crossing roads. Tactile pavement and barriers are available at all crossroads to help impaired pedestrians who desire to cross.

  1. Pedestrian crossing signs denote regions with a high probability of pedestrian activity.
  2. These signs are intended to avoid accidents by alerting vehicles of the need to slow down or brake suddenly.
  3. The pedestrian crossing sign is commonly found in city centers, schools, and other locations with a high pedestrian presence.

Besides, the council is increasingly putting in controlled crossing locations with “spinning cones.” These are gadgets that visually impaired persons may feel like a signal that perhaps the lights are green for them to pass.

Pedestrian accident statistics and data related to roads & footways are utilized in the decision-making process. These processes involve gathering site information, pictures, maps, and the challenges encountered by vulnerable roadway users. Thus the council makes an informed decision.


Like other countries across the world, Canada has severe restrictions for both drivers and pedestrians. As a result, it is critical to understand these pedestrian crossing guidelines before embarking on your journey.

By following these regulations, you may have a safe and enjoyable driving experience throughout Canada. You may also feel comfortable wandering about knowing there is no threat.


Why is it called a pedestrian crossing?

It is called pedestrian crossing because it is a point at which pedestrians can cross a street, road, or avenue.

What is the difference between pedestrian crossing and zebra crossing?

A 'pedestrian crossing' refers to various crossings, whereas a Zebra crossing is a road with black and white stripes drawn but no controlling lights.

How do you define pedestrian crossing?

A pedestrian crossing is a point on a street where people can cross, and vehicles must stop to allow them to proceed.

How do you use a pedestrian crossing?

Before crossing, wait for vehicles to stop in both directions or until the road is clear. Remember that traffic doesn't need to stop until someone steps onto the crossing.



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