Yesterday and today, I saw an idiot (different place, different idiot) start at the beginning of the crosswalk and walk at an angle, stepping on the sidewalk about 10 feet away from the crosswalk. Woo hoo, must be great to have saved those five steps after accounting for the extra distance you had to travel not in a straight line.
The idiot crossing this way stared at me as he was crossing. Ummm…I was making a right turn and if didn’t happen to see you step off the curb, I probably wouldn’t have seen you since I was watching and waiting for the woman IN the crosswalk to get to the other side!
Also, I feel a little bad when I hear/read that an elderly person was hit crossing the street outside the crosswalk, but think “GOOD!” if it’s someone younger.
You’d probably hate Oregon then. Here, any street corner is considered to be a crosswalk whether or not there are lines painted on the street, and if a pedestrian has signaled their intention to cross (this is done by “breaking the plane” of the edge of the street so as soon as any part of their body has entered the street space, they’ve signaled) then any driver who does not stop is in the wrong and can be handed a very nice $250 ticket. So if there’s a teensy little street that opens onto a four lane major arterial and the pedestrian starts walking across between parked cars at the corner and nobody driving even knows there’s a street there they all have to stop or they’re in violation. In theory it’s a good idea, in practice it’s somewhat nerve wracking.
In Hawaii, it’s illegal to enter the crosswalk once the countdown timer begins. Every once in a while I’ll see police at the intersections in our town district. It fills my heart with joy to see someone step onto the opposite curb and get a ticket!
Edit: The ticket can be as much as $130. Not sure what’s required to get that one!
Hell is reserved for the motorists who think they own or ought to own the public transit ways exclusively. I’m looking at you early 20th-century automotive lobbyists who pushed for laws against jaywalking and for the design of un-walkable cities.
I shake my head when I read of Americans complaining about traffic problems. Crossing a street here can be hazardous; I try to be specially careful since my reflexes and sprint speeds are slowing with age.
It was literally just yesterday that our close neighbor had his motorcycle borrowed by brother-in-law; Brother-in-law promptly collided with a pedestrian less than 2 miles from our house. Victim’s injuries are likely to prove fatal. (I don’t know if neighbor or his brother-in-law will be on the hook for fines and hospital charges. The “single-payer” healthcare system here covers illnesses but not accidents.)
Here in Kobe our neighborhood has crosswalks (zebra crossings) without traffic lights. They are relatively uncommon elsewhere and many drivers do not know that they must give way to pedestrians crossing at that point even though there are no traffic lights.
As a kid I never quite understood what “jaywalking” was (to be honest, I’m not even sure what it means now). here in the UK you can cross anywhere without it being an offence at least I’ve never heard of anyone getting done for it. When I’m in London the tourists waits for the lights at the corssing places, the locals and other UK people tend not to.
I don’t know about other states, but in California, the lines painted on the pavement to indicate “crosswalk” are not some kind of magic protective area. Every intersection is a crosswalk, whether there are lines or not, (notwithstanding special, clearly marked prohibitions). And that just means that if a pedestrian has stepped off the curb with a clear intention to cross, cars must stop. But pedestrians must do this only in a safe manner.
Furthermore, it is legal to cross at any point in the block if one (or both) of the two closest intersections doesn’t have a traffic signal–again, however, only if done in a safe manner. Basically it means that pedestrians can’t just jump out in front of moving cars and think the law requires them to stop.
Of course I was being facetious in my post title and I don’t think that I am the ‘God of the roadway’ just because I’m in car, but Hawaii has very specific laws regarding pedestrian crossings and I’m bound my the laws of the road and so are pedestrians, including crossing diagonally:
" §291C-73 Crossing at other than crosswalks. (a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(b) Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
(c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.
(d) No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices; and, when authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic-control devices pertaining to the crossing movements.
(e) Every person who violates this section shall be fined $100. [L 1971, c 150, pt of §1; am L 2007, c 125, §2]"
That’s because jay walking is not an offence in the UK - you can cross anywhere you like. It’s the driver’s responsibility to not kill you. After all, people were crossing roads before cars were even invented.
I agree that jaywalking is irritating.
I live in England, where jaywalking isn’t illegal, but I still use pedestrian crossings and traffic lights correctly. (Also I look both ways, even if I have right of way.)
I really hope you were joking about feeling happy that someone got killed just because they inconvenienced a driver. It’s that appalling attitude that leads to many road deaths (including road rage.)
Your worried about 10 feet outside the painted lines? AYFKM? And yes why should a walker not watch a motorist, especially one who seems to hold contempt for them for no apparent reason.
My own take on it if crossing outside the crosswalk as far as etiquette goes, first on or near the crosswalk is the exact same thing, so 10 feet will get you nothing but respect and the right of way. 2nd is if one chooses to cross without the crosswalk (or outside of a intersection, which one is allowed to cross as a crosswalk), they are doing it with the understanding that the cars have the right of way.
The only place I have seen this not applicable is in Germany, as all lanes are clearly marked, used for different right of ways, and also highly respected by the people. In that yes you can cross anywhere, however no one should have any obligation to respect you being in their right of way. Fines there are based on traffic/RoW disruption, not so much rule breaking.
I’m not bothered much by jaywalkers. But this gets at something that DOES bug me - when apparently able-bodied pedestrians act as tho they are enjoying making traffic wait. I’m not saying pedestrians should jog across the street, but they often seem to slow down, either acting oblivious to the traffic or staring it down.
Reminds me of something I first heard from my niece. There are pedestrians, bikers, and drivers. Whichever you happen to be at the moment, you hate the other 2! (But all 3 hate rollerbladers!)