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I am a Driving Instructor in Wexford town offering Driving Lessons for category B, cars and light vans.  I am a fully qualified, approved driving instructor registered with the RSA.  I will make you a more confident, safer driver for life at a fantastic price.

Dane's Blog

News and updates from Dane Tyghe - Driving Instructor in Wexford

Pedestrian Crossings

Pedestrian Crossings

Dealing with pedestrian crossings is part and parcel of the learning process and ultimately the driving test.  It often requires patience, forward planning and good observation. There are many different types of crossings, some have lights and are well marked out, others may only have two white lines to distinguish it.  The most important and common feature of a pedestrian crossing is flashing amber lights.

Zebra Crossing are usually marked by black and white stripes going across the road, they are normally accompanied by flashing amber beacons also.  The pedestrian has right of way one they put a foot on the crossing.  However a person should never walk out carelessly or abruptly as this could cause a car to brake sudden or swerve.  Pelican Crossings operate when the person presses the button on the control box, then after a short while the green man light will come on and the pedestrian should cross safely.

If there is an island in the middle of the road, you should treat the crossing as two separate ones.  They often appear at an unmarked crossing in order to help slow down traffic and make it safer for people to cross.  Remember traffic has the right of way at an unmarked crossing and even at a pedestrian crossing that is a Zebra or Pelican, you must take care to cross, always look and listen just in case.

Very often at a pelican crossing the traffic light for drivers will turn flashing amber before it goes full green.  In this case it is fine for the driver to move off as long as there are no people wishing to cross the road.  Also drivers must not park or overtake on the white zig zag lines near pedestrian crossings, and even if the zig zag lines are not there the driver must not park or overtake 15 metres either side of the crossing. 

Drivers should always plan ahead for pedestrian crossings, as you approach gradually slow down and watch out for anyone nearby.  Check their body language for a shoulder check and analyse how close they walk to the road.  Sometimes pedestrians can be unpredictable and won't pay attention when they cross.

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Safety at level crossings

Safety at level crossings

Level crossings are an intersection that allow a train to use the public road temporarily in order to continue its journey.  A level crossing may be guarded or unguarded and it's important to take great care when dealing with level crossings.  Its crucial not to stop for any length of time on the train tracks nor stop in the yellow box area of a level crossing.

A level crossing may be unattended by a person, and the only protection is a gate that stops the traffic.  It is up to the car driver to open the gates and close them properly when finished.  In this situation, always stop 2 metres clear of the crossing making sure to turn off any radio or music and lower your windows to help you hear better.  Also listen carefully for a horn or a whistle on the train.  There may be instructions at the crossing and an emergency number to be called if required.  You should open both gates first then drive through and make sure you are well clear of the crossing.  Never stop on the tracks for any length of time and ensure you securely close the gates.

Other types of crossings could be protected by lights and barriers.  In these cases make sure to slow down and prepare to stop obeying the lights and road markings.  If you see the two red lights flashing and a warning bell then a train is approaching.

Pedestrians should be alert and turn off any music or headphones near a level crossing, they shouldn't trespass onto train tracks and they must close and fasten any gates after they have finished crossing.  Cyclists should cross the crossing at a right angle or dismount and walk, as they may lose grip or risk tyres getting stuck in the groves.

Remember, stop, look and listen.  Give way to trains and shut the gates after you!





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