Jaywalking

Jaywalking is an informal term commonly used to refer to illegal or reckless pedestrian crossing of a roadway. Examples include a pedestrian crossing between intersections (outside or, in some jurisdictions, also inside a marked or unmarked crosswalk) without yielding to drivers and starting to cross a crosswalk at a signalized intersection without waiting for a permissive indication to be displayed

I have seen everyone jaywalking, men, women, boys, girls, old women and men, men in suit, tradies, students, take you pick.

I know we are time poor but I don’t think I am ready to get hurt just to save a few minutes or seconds in most cases. My friends sometimes make fun of me when I refuse to jaywalk with them when we are out and about but I am not ashamed to leave them jaywalking and go to the nearest crossing and wait for the sign to turn green to cross. The funny thing is that they will be waiting for me on the other side of the road anyway.

In NSW, Sydney there is no law against jaywalking but in Victoria,Melbourne they fine $60 on-the-spot if cops see you jaywalking. A few of my friends have paid that fine before. I am so supportive of that law and wish we have it here as well. By jaywalking, one is not only risking oneself but also endangering other people like the drives and other pedestrians on the road.

I don’t see why it is so hard to be patient when crossing the road. It might be a few minutes of the wait in the crossing but that might save you from being hurt, disabled or even death. Isn’t your life more valuable?

If you still think jaywalking is ok, please read the story below and think again.

This is a story of a mother who lost his son because she decided to jaywalk with the kids. This mum had 3 kids aging from 5 – 11. She decided it was safe to jaywalk in a suburban road as it was not busy. The nearest crossing was 500m down the road in the other direction they were going so she held the hands of the two youngest kids and ask the oldest one to hold one of the other kids’ hand.  They cross half of the road and stopped on the divider island in the road. When she decided to cross the other half and was about to cross the road, she saw a car coming towards them  so she held back and pulled her children back to the island but unfortunately the oldest child whose hand she was not holding couldn’t make that judgement and kept going and was hit by this oncoming car.

I know it must be a great pain to loose a loved one especially kids, but to feel responsible must be the worst feeling in the world. So just because she decided to save a few minutes, she is suffering the consequence for her whole life.

Please think for a second before jaywalking again. There are loved ones waiting for you at home who rely on you and love you so much that their world would fall apart if something happened to you.  Be responsible and be safe.

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14 responses to “Jaywalking

  1. I don’t know what kind of walking it is to walk on the side of the road, when there is no side-walk. i have done that so many times, when I didn’t have a car. It was not safe both from both cars and robbers, but had no other options, and was bullied by the horns and screams of some assholes. I always wished there was a side-walk, then eventually I bought a car 🙂

  2. Bit ashamed, but I am a big jaywalker. But it all depends on where you live/lived. In Rome, waiting for crosswalks is ~nonexsistent so it’s commonplace to just cross the incoming traffic… In S. California when out with friends, I have to remember to wait at a crosswalk because they realize it’s the safer way.

  3. Gosh – I have so many crazy memories of crossing the street in India and Nepal – what a different road etiquette!

  4. In Germany its forbidden too. and most of peoples to accept this rule.
    Here are some indicating labels at the traffic lights to be an example for children, but often I see parents crossing the road by stopping the light with his children.
    I traveled in a lot of countrys, most the peolples crossing the road with jaywalking and it is so dangoueres…….

  5. I generally use crosswalks, unless there is no traffic. Even with a law that mandates cars must stop for pedestrians in non-controlled crossings, people need to take care cars will actually stop before proceeding.

  6. I am so with you on the Jaywalking, it’s so very dangerous! I don’t do and would love others to stop the practice. You are so right, go to the cross walk always, be safe not sorry. That story was so heartbreaking and the mother of the kids made a horrible decision. Thanks for bringing this topic to everyone’s attention, wonderful post!

  7. That reminds me of a story a while back about a mother in Georgia that was charged with manslaughter of her own child. The story was just like the one you posted. While i agree that she shouldn’t have been jaywalking, I think charging her with manslaughter went too far. She was walking from a bus stop that had no real access to a crosswalk or light. Unfortunately, sometimes funding and transportation boards make the burden rest with the pedestrian. Here in the states jaywalking is illegal everywhere I’ve ever been but not strictly enforced. The right of way law instructs all drivers that ALL pedestrians have the right of way, cross walk or not. The really sad part of that Georgia mother’s story? A cross walk wouldn’t have changed a thing, the driver that struck and killed her young child was drunk.

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