What is a pedestrian?
A pedestrian is someone not driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle. The term refers to a person who is walking on the pavement, pathway or crossing the road - or a pedestrian can be someone who uses a method of transport such as a skateboard or roller skates, or a person with a disability using a wheelchair, quadricycle or tricycle.
What is a pedestrian crossing?
A pedestrian crossing (or Pedestrian Crosswalk) is a part of the road or street that enables people to cross from one side of the road to the other. Often marked by black and white painted strips there are numerous types of crossings offering various levels of complexity, typically based on road, traffic and pedestrian volumes. Pedestrian Crossings are usually located towards the end of a road to make it easier to see any oncoming traffic.
Why are pedestrian signs important?
Pedestrian signs are important for both drivers and pedestrians. They are in place to provide consistent rules, so everyone is aware of the right action to take in a certain area. The designs are intentionally simple so they can be understood by almost all age groups and they can also provide important warnings about things that aren’t necessarily obvious, such as a Warning – Uneven ground sign which can sometimes be missed if the person walking is distracted.
Pedestrian warning sign examples
Below are a few examples of common pedestrian signs that are used in public spaces. These signs are usually available in a range of materials, including rigid plastic, Correx, self-adhesive vinyl and metal (Zintec)..
The Footpath closed sign informs pedestrians that the footpath ahead is not accessible. This is often because some form of construction or roadworks are being carried out. An alternative pathway is usually marked out for the pedestrian to follow so they can continue the rest of their journey in safety.
Warning – Pedestrians crossing
Not all pedestrian signs are intended to guide and help people who are on foot. For example, the Warning – Pedestrians crossing sign informs drivers that pedestrians are crossing in this section of the road or street, so they need to remain vigilant with their speed and to keep a close eye out for any people crossing the road.
Due to the nature of the work being carried out, construction sites usually need to take wider safety precautions into consideration to ensure risk is minimised for members of the public. This customisable Pedestrian walkway sign tells pedestrians where the walkway is so they can avoid contact with the construction site. The sign can also be customised, with space above the message to insert a company logo, so branding is always visible in external areas.
When there are roadworks taking place, traffic needs to be informed so they know which direction to go. A Diversion sign is placed in front of oncoming traffic and is available with both arrow left and arrow right signs. This sign is also helpful for pedestrians, as it makes them aware of new traffic flows so they can alter their behaviour when crossing the road.
Pedestrians look both ways
There are times when pedestrians need to be given a reminder of their responsibilities when crossing the road, especially in busy areas or when there is a temporary change to the traffic flow. The Pedestrians look both ways sign can be provided with or without a metal frame and is good practice for helping maintain safety in areas where people are likely to cross the road.
Where can pedestrian warning signs be used?
When it comes to positioning a pedestrian warning sign, the local environment and potential hazards are first taken into consideration. For example, if the sign is for a construction site there will be more vehicles entering and leaving a particular section of the road. Or if there are roadworks taking place, this will affect traffic and potential footpaths for pedestrians. Visibility is also very important when it comes to positioning pedestrian warning signs. For example, if a sign is being used to instruct pedestrians to look in a certain direction when crossing the road or to follow a pathway that is currently not available, drivers and pedestrians need to be able to clearly see the message before they reach the affected area.
In almost all cases, signs are positioned a certain number of feet ahead of the site, so drivers and pedestrians are given fair warning and can make necessary adjustments without having to leave it to the last minute, which could otherwise create more potential hazards.
Pedestrian hazard signs will also be exposed to varying weather conditions, even if used on a temporary basis. This could include exposure to UV rays, wind, rain, snow and ice, which can lead to damage and degradation of the sign, affecting the visibility of the message on display. This makes maintenance and upkeep important, although if done on a semi-regular basis, it should not require more than wipe down to retain its condition in the short term.