Argument against jaywalking laws

@Qaeyious (2362)
United States
November 2, 2010 6:57pm CST
http://encycl.opentopia.com/term/Jaywalking http://peripatus.blogspot.com/2005/09/on-jaywalking.html http://mitchblum.com/2009/10/13/in-defense-of-jaywalking-in-boston/ These are my top three favorite links regarding jaywalking, the practice of crossing the street "illegally," that is, not in accordance with a municipality's laws or regulations.  For example, in the United States, most places have ordinances in place stating that one can only cross the street on corners, intersections, and crosswalks, and only when the "WALK" sign is indicated when there are pedestrian traffic lights.   Now I agree that when crosses a road that is not in accordance and traffic is disrupted in the process, I have no problem with punishing the criminal.  But what if there is no traffic anywhere?  You are waiting for the green (or in some cases white) light and there is no vehicle to be seen.  Here I disagree with our beloved city's practice of fining citizens for refusing to be bound by the law and crossing anyway.  I would even include vehicles, if they are waiting for a light that is not changing and there are no other vehicles at the intersection.  Why should anyone have to wait for some mechanical light when it is clearly safe and non-disruptive to go ahead? I read in India and the United Kingdom there is no such thing as "jaywalking.". You look both ways and cross when safe.  If anyone cannot follow such simple instructions, they should be chaperoned.
1 person likes this
6 responses
@jb78000 (15173)
3 Nov 10
it isn't illegal in most places so it does seem a bit strange on first impressions to have laws about crossing the road. makes you wonder whether one of your government's roles is 'lollypop lady'. i got stopped by the police once in poland for doing this, i had no idea there was a law about it. the street incidentally was empty. nothing happened - they just told me to use the crossing.
@Qaeyious (2362)
• United States
3 Nov 10
You taught me a bit of culture, the term "lollipop lady" for a crossing guard. The most popular term here for government requiring safety behaviors (wear helmets when bicycling/motorcycling, seat belts when driving, requiring a manufacturer to put a sign saying don't touch the hot part of an iron while it is on, ) is "nanny state."
1 person likes this
@jb78000 (15173)
3 Nov 10
same here. what is interesting is that rules one person would classify as nanny state type are not always the ones somebody else would.
@jb78000 (15173)
28 Nov 10
thankyou for the br
3 Nov 10
To be honest I think it makes sense to have it as a law, as over you get people who cause many accidents by walking out when they're not supposed too. Nothing happens either, if a driver swerves to avoid a person who stepped out when they shouldn't it's him and not the person who caused it who as to pay for the damage. I also wished we had the law, makes it safer in my opinion.
@Qaeyious (2362)
• United States
3 Nov 10
If they disrupt traffic in any way, I agree in enforcing the law. My issue is the police ticketing people crossing empty intersections, or where every vehicle is stopped. If they can cross before a vehicle's path is crossed, that is where my disagreement begins.
3 Nov 10
I agree with you then. That actually sounds very unfair :/
@kingparker (9698)
• United States
3 Nov 10
I don't know. When I was in high school, I was charged with jaywalking once, and I was fined $20 for that. I just hate that cop that the moment who just taking advantage of people like us. Anyway, the pay just increase the city government revenue.
@Qaeyious (2362)
• United States
3 Nov 10
Heaven knows our cities need whatever revenue they can get May I ask how old you were and what kind of traffic you stepped into?
• Canada
3 Nov 10
I have to disagree with you there, and hopefully you will see my point after I explain myself. We all know why these laws are in place, and they do help save lives. However, even crossing at a designated spot can have negative effects, some drivers don't even stop at a cross walk for pedestrians, I've heard several reports of this. But given the fact, and this is where I explain my reason, that some drivers can come out of no where, it's not safe to cross, even when you don't see any cars coming. A drunk or speeding driver can come out of nowhere and hit you, even if you don't see anyone on the road. I suffered a car accident years ago, it was an early Sunday morning and there was no traffic whatsoever where I was. But out of nowhere, a car blew a red light and caused my accident. You never know when any car will come from around the corner, tires squealing, rubber burning and barrel down on you while you're frozen in the middle of the road in fear. The police around here don't ticket enough people, as there are plenty of jay walkers in the city who are stupid enough to run out in front of high speed traffic.
@Qaeyious (2362)
• United States
3 Nov 10
Yes, any car can come out of nowhere with a drunk driver behind the wheel, or even just reckless though sober. So for safety reasons are we not to be allowed to cross any street at any time, since there is no way to determine when that happens? How would enforcing jaywalking on seemingly deserted streets solve that problem? Yes, I have seen flagrant jaywalkers and bicyclists go any where they want to regardless of the vehicles they cause to brake and swerve. Those I have no problem with enforcing the law, as I stated before. Forcing everyone to wait for a useless light does not solve the problem. When it allows us to cross, the reckless/drunk driver is going to run us down anyway. And if a regular vehicle comes out, driving sanely, and I mistakenly got in their way, I'll agree to the consequences. But when there is no vehicle beside the phantom possibility, with the only consequences is a law enforcement person lurking in the shadows, no.
@zoey7879 (3104)
• United States
3 Nov 10
A friend of mine recently got a jaywalking ticket, and I had to laugh. We live in a town where there are only two stop lights in the city limits. At this particular intersection, a person can see traffic coming for about 1,500 feet to 3,000 feet before it ever reaches the traffic light, especially at night. It was 2am, not a car on the street, just the police officer sitting at the parking lot of a nearby petrol station. My friend didnt push the button and wait for the WALK light, he crossed the highway because the roads were clear.... and the police officer ticketed him anyway. LOL!!!
@Qaeyious (2362)
• United States
3 Nov 10
Yes, that is the situation I have problems with.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
8 Dec 10
If it is in an area with absolutely ZERO traffic, then yes, the law is irrelevant. If there are cars around, then those jaywalking are endangering EVERYONE on the road and should be fined appropriately. Many accidents happen when drivers swerve to avoid morons that walk onto busy streets. Back when I worked on South OBT in Orlando people walked across that 50 mph road without looking all the time and cause a lot of accidents. Even police cars rushing to crime scenes (and this was a high crime area) often flattened those morons and caused traffic jams on the road while also being delayed in reaching crime scenes.