The official place to cross the street on foot, only not in the U.S., where we have crosswalks (i guess this is canadian, too, since Pseudo_Intellectual triggered this node by saying it). If you don't use these, you're jaywalking.

Presumably called a zebra crossing because of the stripes, this made me laugh and laugh the first time i heard it (crossing the street in Brighton, England with a friend) for three reasons (in this order, because i had to get past one to get to each next one): First, because i'd never heard it before and had no idea he was saying. Second, because i discovered that in West Sussex at least, zebra is pronounced with a short e and not a long one, as i'm used to (they talk funny, hah!). Third, because it made me picture wild zebras crossing the busy urban English street, sort of like the deer crossing and moose crossing signs you'll see in New England. And that made me think of the penguin rolling down the stairs/nun rolling down the stairs joke. And then i got hit by a lorry. hunh.

In Britain, a method to cross the road.

Zebra crossings are denoted by a series of black and white stripes across the road (the black stripes are often darker than the road):

______________________________
         ###########
         |         |
         ###########
         |         |
         ###########
         |         |
         ###########
         |         |
         ###########
         |         |
         ###########          

Pedestrians on a zebra crossing have right of way over road traffic at any time, no matter how stupidly they are behaving. This abnormal power must be used responsibly, or much pissed-offedness will ensue.

The correct way to use a zebra crossing is as follows:

  1. Put one foot on the zebra crossing, to indicate to drivers that you intend to cross
    (Traffic may not stop for you if you simply wait by the side of the road)
  2. Any traffic in the road will stop1
  3. Continue across the road.

An optional accessory for zebra crossings is the Belisha beacon, an illuminated orange globe atop a black and white striped pole, to draw motorists' attention to the zebra crossing as they approach.

Zebra crossings have also been sighted in Canada, New Zealand (by Master Villain), and Japan, but I make no claims as to them operating the same way.

1 - it may be alarming to Americans that this actually works.

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