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The Common But Uncommon Pedestrian Traffic Law

May 24. 2018

What law can you think of that is very common but, yet uncommon to pedestrians themselves? The answer is jaywalking. Jaywalking means violating pedestrian traffic laws, most often by crossing a street illegally. It is a low level offense but, can draw fines in most if not all jurisdictions. Several pedestrians you see today are usually jaywalking at some point. This pedestrian traffic law is very common because pedestrians do have the right away however, if a driver is not aware of a jaywalking pedestrian an accident may occur. The pedestrian is required to obey traffic control signals just as a driver should.

For example, beginning to cross the street at an intersection with a “Don’t Walk” sign flashing would violate jaywalking laws. The pedestrian would be at fault in this situation because the pedestrian violated the jaywalking traffic law. On the other hand, the driver may raise a claim explaining that the negligence of the pedestrian caused or contributed to the accident and or injuries. It is very important to follow the traffic control laws as it is the safest option while traveling by foot. Why else do we teach our children to pay attention to the traffic control signals while walking home from school?

There are a few penalties for jaywalking that I wanted to point out which could be either infraction or a misdemeanor. Police enforce jaywalking laws by issuing citations. The penalty for violating jaywalking laws typically include a fine similar to a parking ticket. Also, in many jurisdictions, fines increase with repeat jaywalking offenses. Jaywalking citations can be costly and require you to go to court. So, be sure to follow all pedestrian traffic control signals and yield to any vehicles approaching the crosswalks. You can never be too sure.


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