You’ve probably seen zebra crossing design before but have you ever stopped to think about their design? This type of special crossing gives pedestrians permanent right of way on a road and they’re usually painted black and white. They’re also known as pedestrian refuges or islands.
Zebra crossings can be set back from the edge of a roadway or, where necessary, be located on a raised section of road. This helps drivers to appreciate the presence of the crossing and reduces their speed as they approach it (Road User Rule, 10.1). In the case of zebra crossings on elevated sections of road, they can be combined with traffic islands or raised crosswalks to further slow vehicle speeds at these locations.
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If a zebra crossing is adjacent to a roundabout (kerbed or mini), it should be set back from the roundabout give way line to avoid the risk of pedestrians being struck by vehicles entering or leaving the circle. Zebra crossings may be coloured to highlight their presence for visually impaired road users but this should not replace or overshadow regulatory markings and signs.
Drivers must always yield to pedestrians on zebra crossings even when they are not fully within the crossing bars and they should not overtake them unless it is necessary to safely exit or enter the roundabout (Road User Rule, 11.5). This is a key point in their ability to comply with the Road Rules, especially at lower system speed limits.