On this day in auto history – June 14th

Mon 14th Jun 2021

It was on this day in 1961 that the UK government first unveiled push-button controlled pedestrian crossings.

The new ‘panda’ crossings were brought in as a direct response to the growing number of pedestrians killed on zebra crossings since their introduction a decade earlier. Around 1,000 people lost their life on a zebra crossing in 1960 alone!

Following a successful trial, the new crossings were rolled out nationwide in April 1962 but initial confusion over the sequence of flashing lights led to swift modifications, whilst the scheme was beset by numerous technical failures.

Heavily maligned for much of the 1960’s - primarily for its lack of clarity over a ‘pulsating’ amber light and a ‘flashing’ amber light - the panda crossing was eventually replaced in 1969 by the much simpler pelican crossing system which is still with us today.