Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Zebra Crossing Definition:

Striped white or yellow lines painted on asphalted streets indicating a pedestrian crosswalk.

Related Terms: Pedestrian

A zebra crossing is a protected pedestrian crosswalk, designated by zig zag lines which because they are white paint on black asphalt, are called zebra; hence, zebra crossing.

Whether or not a pedestrian has right-of-way merely because he or she is upon a zebra crossing depends on whether in fact and in law, the person is a pedestrian, the local rules, the careful engagement upon the zebra crossing, as well as the presence or not of pedestrian crossing lights.

Shown on the cover of a Beatles album (Abbey Road).

zebra pedestrian crossingCirca 1990, the United Kingdom enacted a The "Zebra" Pedestrian Crossings (Amendment) Regulations 1990

An Irish traffic regulation provides:

"A pedestrian shall not cross a roadway within 50 feet of a zebra crossing except by the crossing, and shall not step on to a zebra crossing if his action is likely to cause the driver of an approaching vehicle to brake suddenly or to swerve."

Gerald Dodson (1884-1967), later a judge but while acting as counsel and before a jury, once said;

"If there is one dangerous place on the cross-roads, it is a pedestrian crossing."1


  • Fountain, Richard, The Wit of the Wig (London: Leslie Frewin Publisher, 1968), page 487 [NOTE 1]
  • Road Traffic General Bye-Laws, 1964, S.I. No. 294/1964, , §38

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