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Zebra crossing

Cover of The Beatles' album Abbey Road, showing the band walking over a British Zebra crossing
A zebra crossing is a type of pedestrian crossing, characterised by stripes (hence the term, named after the zebra) on the road, parallel to the flow of the traffic, alternatingly a light color (usually white) and a dark one (black, or, if the road surface itself is of a dark color, just that). The stripes are 40 - 50 cm wide.

In the United States, these are called "crosswalks," and pedestrians in the crosswalk will typically cross on being signalled from the opposite corner. When there is no signal present, pedestrians in the crosswalk have right of way and cars must stop.

In the United Kingdom the crossing is marked with beacons on either side of the road, called Belisha beacons, These are the black and white poles topped by flashing orange globes. They are named after Leslie Hore-Belisha[?] the Minister of Transport[?] who introduced them in 1934. Pedestrians have right of way on this kind of crossing once they have put a foot upon it, cars then have to stop and give way, if they can do so safely. This is in contrast to a similar crossing, known as a pelican crossing (Pedestrian Light Controlled), which is marked with traffic lights for the vehicles and a green and red man lighting up to show pedestrians when to cross and when to stay. Pedestrians only have right of way here when the green man is lit.

Other similar crossings in the UK include: puffin (Pedestrian User-Friendly Interface), toucan (Two Can cross - a joint pedestrian and bicycle crossing) and pegasus[?] (for horses, usually outside race courses).

A zebra crossing famously appears on the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road album (see image).



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