Interesting statistic - cockle {P}
While trawling through the minutes of the local council's Traffic and Parking Committee, (sad, I know, but someone has to do it, and it's amazing what you come across), I unearthed this little snippet from the Safer Journey's to School Project:-

5.6 No matter how well located, designed or signed it is acknowledged that the provision of a crossing will possibly result in accidents occurring.

5.7 The latest personal injury accidents rates per year per facility for the Borough of Southend-on-Sea for Crossings and Signals are:-

Zebra crossing - 0.68;
Puffin crossing ? 0.74;
Pelican crossing ? 1.12;
Toucan crossing ? 1.24.

Guess which crossing type is either slowly replacing zebra's, or being provided, around all our local schools?
Which would you prefer?

Interesting statistic - Imagos
please forgive my stupidity but can you explain what each type is/does?
Interesting statistic - cockle {P}
No problem.
Zebra is the normal flashing amber beacon, black & white stripes chap.
Pelican is traffic lights controlled by pedestrians pushing buttons.
Puffin is an intelligent Pelican that allows pedestrians more time if they are slow crossing but also cancels the request to cross if the pedestrian moves away from the crossing.
Toucan is like a Puffin but has a cycle lane alongside as well to allow cyclists across the road.

What I found interesting was that a Puffin is marginally more dangerous than a Zebra but is an improvement over its predesessor, the Pelican, while the all singing, all dancing Toucan is nearly twice as likely to see an accident. Can't really see why that should be but most of the new crossings going in around our schools are Toucans as they are taking the opportunity to increase cycle lanes around the schools at the same time.
Just struck me as strange as I had assumed that traffic light controlled crossings would be much safer, just goes to show.

Interesting statistic - Welliesorter
Good summary of crossing types at

One thought about these statistics: are the numbers high enough to draw any conclusions? Wouldn't you need to aggregate figures over a much wider area to come to any real conclusions about the safety of different types? I'd also expect the light-controlled crossings to be safer. Maybe if zebras are safer it's because drivers are looking for pedestrians, rather than at the lights.
Interesting statistic - AdrianM
I agree with this last statement. Because we have all seen and used zebra crossing all our lives, I think you instinctively ease up as you see a zebra and look-out for pedestrians. Whereas with lights you just check they are green and whizz straight through. Any pedestrians walking about in a daze (as they often seem to do) don't then stand a chance if they step out.
Interesting statistic - Manatee
Lies, d***** lies, and statistics...

These figures would be very meaningful if each type of crossing had similar distribution of location types, similar traffic and pedestrinn volumes, and material numbers of each type. This is unlikely. They may have done some work on weighting the figures to make them useful, but without some explanation it would be risky to infer anything.

I was surprised to come across a zebra the other day - there are so few in my area - and almost didn't notice it (neither of the belishas was flashing).

You could speculate that busier places are more likely to have been redesigned with newer type crossings, which would skew the stats against those types. Maybe there's only one Toucan and its at the busiest junction in the borough?

99% of shark attacks occur in less than 3 feet of water - so you must be safer if you swim out a bit!
Interesting statistic - wemyss
Agree with Manatee and never believe statistics. I used to have to provide them for the Home Office. Mostly meaningless worthless studies and with pressure of work along with others used to simply put guesstimates in and know they were acceptable.
Rubbish in and rubbish out I suppose.
Interesting statistic - Kevin

Could it be that light controlled crossings encourage pedestrians to forget the 'look left, look right' once the lights are in their favour ?

Interesting statistic - SteveH42
I must admit I really don't like Puffin crossings. They delay traffic for longer than a Pelican - I find the pedestrian is always well away from the crossing before it even starts the red/amber sequence, and the ones around here don't seem able to detect when the pedestrian has realised seconds after pressing the button that there is no traffic and so can cross anyway. Also, you get kids who know how they work deliberately drawing out the crossing, knowing the lights will stay on red...

One thought as for the accident rates - could it be that as most Toucan crossings are new installations rather than replacements of existing crossings the higher figures are simply because people aren't used to the new locations yet and that these will go down in time?

Personally, I find Zebra crossings most worrying, both as a driver and as a pedestrian. You never know if a car is going to stop - many ignore the fact you have priority and work on the basis that it will hurt you more than them so intimidate you not to cross. However, as a driver you find someone wandering down the street all of a sudden starts to cross, yet if you hang back to see if they will cross, most of the time they don't and the traffic is bunching behind you and people start doing daft things to pass you. Also, in the dark the cars behind might not realise you are stopping for the crossing if they can't see the pedestrian...
Interesting statistic - Jehovah
Years ago we were at Niagra Falls during a holiday in Canada. Canadian drivers were pretty good about zebra-type crossings, so we confidently strode up to crossing, waited for a goodly gap, and set about crossing. Being on the American border, we very quickly discovered that you get a lot of Americans on the Canadian side, who apparently either don't know what these crossing markings mean, or prefer not to take any notice. Give me the light controlled ones anyday.
Interesting statistic - Hawesy1982
I agree with Kevin, when at a pedestrian traffic-light controlled crossing, if the green man is lit, you cross, easy as that.

With zebras, you hang back until you see the car is definitely going to stop for you to cross, therefore the pedestrian's mistrust in zebra crossings actually makes them safer
Interesting statistic - Marcos{P}
You may find that the reason for the Toucans results is down to pedestrians bieng run over by cyclists. I read a report a while ago that cyclists were less likely to stop at a crossing than a speeding drunk.
Interesting statistic - Sooty Tailpipes
My humble observations
With Zebras, people are more likely to wait for the car to stop before crossing, this usually happens as soon as they position to cross. Pedestrian is happy, can cross straightaway, motorist happy, can move off again straightaway and didn't have to wait 10 seconds between his red light and some green man to appear.

At Light controlled crossings, pedestrian arrives, presses button, looks and sees traffic is far up road, so crosses on red man, cars arrive and get stopped, sit there for no reason witha large queue forming, start to set off, and another pedestrian comes, presses button, and has to wait ages to cross before lights change or gap appears.

I much prefer Zebras. I have seen the mayhem where thay have been removed and replaced by various bird crossings around here.

Value my car