Definitions for belisha beacon

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  1. Belisha beacon(Noun)

    A tall black and white pole topped by flashing orange globe, placed on either side of the road at zebra crossings; mostly now replaced by more sophisticated arrangements

  2. Origin: After w:Leslie Hore-Belisha the Minister of Transport who introduced them in 1934.

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  1. Belisha beacon

    A Belisha beacon is an amber-coloured globe lamp atop a tall black and white pole, marking pedestrian crossings of roads in the United Kingdom, Ireland and in other countries historically influenced by Britain. It was named after Leslie Hore-Belisha, the Minister of Transport who in 1934 added beacons to pedestrian crossings, marked by large metal studs in the road surface. These crossings were later painted in black and white stripes, thus are known as zebra crossings. Legally pedestrians have priority on such crossings. Belisha beacons provide additional visibility to zebra crossings for motorists, primarily at night. The flash commonly lasts one second in both on and off states. Some crossings are set so that each beacon flashes alternately to the other side, but they often fall out of synchronisation over time. Beacons with an outer ring of flashing amber LED lights, preferred for their brightness and low electricity consumption, are replacing traditional incandescent bulbs in many areas. To be legally compliant, every zebra crossing must be equipped with two Belisha beacons. A particular problem exists at crossings where there is a central reservation. Since the presence of a reservation creates two zebra crossings there has to be total of four Belisha beacons. Some installations illegally feature only one Belisha beacon on the central reservation intended to serve both crossings. In fact, in this scenario, both crossings are non compliant with the regulations and consequently a single central beacon is a valid defence for a motorist charged with violation of the crossing regulations.


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