Depending on who you ask, you can get a million answers to the “Is Jaywalking illegal” question. It is correct to say that jaywalking is illegal by the way most city laws have it written.
But there is a bit more to it than that!
First, what is Jaywalking?
The Black’s Law Dictionary defines jaywalking as “the term that applies to crossing a street in the wrong place and walking diagonally across the road.”
It may seem like a victimless crime, but jaywalking can lead to serious pedestrian injuries or death. Anytime an emergency vehicle is involved due to jaywalking, it is viewed as a preventable accident.
To make pedestrian crossings safer, it’s essential to understand the risks associated with jaywalking and effective ways to prevent it in addition to knowing whether it is legal or not.
Is Jaywalking illegal?
Jaywalking is one of those activities that everyone knows is wrong but that few people actually avoid. After all, what’s the harm in crossing the street outside of a crosswalk? Isn’t it faster than waiting for the light to change?
While it’s true that jaywalking can save you a few minutes, it’s also against the law in most jurisdictions. And there’s a good reason for that. Jaywalking increases the risk of accidents, not only for the person is crossing the street but also for drivers and pedestrians using the crosswalk.
See More: Emergency Response Times & Insurance
Why is Jaywalking a crime?
In many parts of the world, jaywalking is considered a crime, but it is not looked at as a severe crime.
The reason for this view is that jaywalking can lead to severe accidents. When there is heavy pedestrian traffic, drivers may not be able to see a person crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.
This can lead to the driver hitting the pedestrian, which can cause serious injuries or even death. Jaywalking can also clog up oncoming traffic and cause backups at adjacent intersections.
Disrupting the flow of traffic and transit vehicles can cause many delays, and crosswalks are often working in unison with motorists. In some cities, police officers will give out tickets to people who are caught jaywalking because of this.
So if you’re ever in doubt about whether or not it’s safe to cross the street, it’s always better to err on the side of caution, obey traffic laws, and use the crosswalk. Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise, so it’s more important than ever to be safe when crossing the street.
What is an example of Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is an age-old problem. It’s when a pedestrian crosses a busy street outside of a crosswalk. This is dangerous because the driver may not see the pedestrian and could hit them.
Jaywalking is most commonly seen in urban areas with more pedestrians and traffic. It’s also more common in areas where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. Most people who jaywalk do so because they’re in a hurry and don’t want to wait for the light to change.
Keep in mind that traffic safety and the prevention of accidents should be a priority for everyone, not just drivers.
5 Effective Ways to Increase Pedestrian Crossing Safety:
Pedestrian safety is a pressing concern in many communities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 6,000 pedestrians are killed, and about 55,000 are injured in traffic accidents each year in the United States.
This averages out to more than one death every two hours. While many factors contribute to these accidents, there are also ways that municipalities and police departments can work to improve pedestrian safety.
Below are some practical methods for improving pedestrian safety:
1. Put up signs and paint lines at crosswalks.
One way to help keep pedestrians safe when crossing the street is to install crosswalks where they currently don’t exist. This will give pedestrians a clear signal to stop before crossing the street.
This can be especially helpful at busy intersections or crossings with a lot of foot traffic. In addition, crosswalks and accompanying signs can help to alert drivers that there may be pedestrians in the area and help to remind them to yield to pedestrians.
Additionally, painting lines to indicate a crosswalk turns an uncontrolled crossing into a controlled crossing, something that can increase visibility.
2. Install electronic crossing signals, such as pedestrian-activated crossing lights or stop signs.
One way to help improve pedestrian safety is to install electronic crossing signals at intersections that work in conjunction with the traffic lights.
The addition of pedestrian-activated crossing signals gives pedestrians a clear call to stop before crossing the street, which can help to reduce the risk of accidents. It also informs them when to safely cross with a countdown provided.
This is useful for drivers and pedestrians alike to see the visible countdown!
3. Utilize Traffic Technology
Luckily, there is plenty of technology on the market that cities can utilize to help make crosswalks safer and assist motorists as well. The team here at LYT uses connected traffic signals to provide real-time insights for traffic control centers.
The ability for intersections to become safer is made possible when AI learns from past traffic patterns and gets better every day, enhancing its real-time performance.
4. Install speed bumps or raised crosswalks.
Speed bumps and raised crosswalks are two standard
methods of traffic calming. By installing speed bumps or raised crosswalks, municipalities can help to reduce vehicle speeds and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the street safely.
Speed bumps are typically installed in residential areas where there is a high volume of pedestrian traffic. Raised crosswalks are often installed at busy intersections or near schools and parks. Both methods have been shown to be effective in reducing vehicle speeds and improving pedestrian safety.
5. Educate pedestrians and drivers about traffic signals and the importance of increased safety measures at crosswalks.
This will help everyone be more aware of the dangers of crossing streets without proper safety precautions in place. Pedestrian deaths can be prevented through educating the public and increasing awareness.
Note: This blog post is part of our on-the-road series, which is designed to help motorists, traffic managers and everyone in between with common road safety tips & transportation information. Got a question or topic you would like to know more about? Reach out to us and let us know!