A Puffin crossing is a newer type of pedestrian crossing that is considered to be a lot safer to use. The name is said to come from the term Pedestrian User Friendly INterface.
It looks very similar to a Pelican crossing with yellow boxes to press, traffic lights, studs on the pavement for pedestrians, zigzags, red and green man but it also has scanners at the top that faces the pedestrians.
These scanners start to work when the red light appears. So when the yellow box is pressed and the red light comes on for the road users the green man will automatically appear for the pedestrians. The scanners will now scan the road and will not allow the amber light to light up until all pedestrians are clear of the crossing. This is a much safer crossing than the pelican crossings as unlike the pelican crossings that have the timer the scanner can visibly see if it’s safe for the lights to change or not. It is also very useful when large numbers of people wish to use the crossing i.e. children on a school trip and it’s also very useful for elderly or disabled people that may need more time to cross the crossing without trying to rush across the crossing and run the risk of falling over.
When a driver does stop try not to stop on or over the white lines. Ensure that you stop behind the white lines giving the pedestrians as much space as possible as stopping too close to the crossing or even on the crossing can cause an accident as this will hinder the view of pedestrians to other road users and vice versa.
On the yellow box has the red or green man lit up so it’s much easier to see especially for visually impaired people.
These Puffin crossings have also helped road users too as when the pedestrians cross quickly then the lights will change straight away rather than waiting for the timer to complete.
Also if someone presses the yellow box and crosses without any traffic being there then the lights will stay green as there are no more pedestrians to cross and there is no need to hold up traffic. This has been a great help to many road users as some road users used to complain that children were found to press the yellow box and then run off.