OWL Magazine Korea

Singapore, British-style Crosswalks

Singapore, being a city-state, has been influenced by British culture in its history. Thanks to this, remnants of British culture can be found throughout Singapore. English, too, has been influenced by British English, and British-style tea culture (afternoon tea) has developed.

The transportation system also follows the British system. Unlike Korea, vehicles drive on the left side, and the steering wheel is on the right.

“British-style Crosswalks in Singapore”

Crosswalks in Singapore have also been influenced by the British. In Korea, influenced by the United States, there is only one type of crosswalk—a crossroads where black and white lines intersect. However, in Singapore, they have a British-style crosswalk system, which is somewhat different from ours.

In the UK, various types of crosswalks can be found, broadly categorized into four types:

  1. Zebra Crossing: Black and white lines intersecting (similar to crosswalks in Korea)
  2. Pelican Crossing: Connected by dashed lines on both ends
  3. Puffin Crossing
  4. Toucan Crossing

Among these, the most common is the second type, followed by the first. Surprisingly, the typical crosswalk shape we often see in Korea is not commonly found here.

“Zebra Crossing: Pedestrian Priority Crosswalk”

What we commonly refer to as a crosswalk in Korea is called “Zebra Crossing.” It got its name because the pattern resembles that of a zebra.

In the UK, this type of crosswalk is used more selectively. The Zebra Crossing does not have traffic signals, and pedestrians always have the right of way. Therefore, when a person stands at the Zebra Crossing, vehicles must always stop first.

In Singapore, if you wait at this type of crosswalk, you’ll see that in most cases, cars stop. Pedestrians always have priority over vehicles, so it’s advisable to cross before the cars start moving, or you might find yourself waiting for the cars to stop for people to cross.

“Pelican Crossing: Signal-controlled Regular Crosswalk”

The British equivalent of the typical zebra-pattern crosswalk we see in Korea is the “Pelican Crossing.” In the UK, this type is marked only by dashed lines on both sides.

Usually accompanied by traffic signals, you can cross when the light turns green. However, in less crowded areas, there might be a need to press a button. In such cases, if you don’t press the crosswalk button, the signal won’t change. Therefore, it’s essential to check whether there is an additional button when you want to cross.

“Puffin Crossing: Crosswalk with Sensors on Pelican Crossing”

This type looks similar to “Pelican Crossing,” but sensors are installed in the crosswalk. When the green light comes on and someone starts crossing, the signal won’t be interrupted. Puffin Crossings are designed for places with many vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly and children.

“Toucan Crossing: Crosswalk for Bicycles”

Lastly, “Toucan Crossing” is a relatively rare type. It is a signal designed specifically for people riding bicycles. Unlike the original crosswalk, where cyclists need to dismount and walk across, Toucan Crossing allows cyclists to ride across. It can be considered a traffic light for bicycle traffic.

In conclusion, we’ve taken a look at the British-style crosswalk system. In Singapore, you’ll most frequently encounter the second type, Pelican Crossing, while the Zebra Crossing, the first type, is not as common. The third and fourth types of crosswalks are even less common and serve specific purposes. The second type, in essence, functions similarly to the crosswalks we have in Korea, with a different visual appearance.