Jaywalking has already been common, even if not actually legal. When people need to get across the street, they don’t always want to go out of the way to wait until they’ve reached a crosswalk or intersection.
If there’s no oncoming traffic, why not? Here’s what you should know:
Understanding jaywalking laws
At the beginning of this year, it became easier to jaywalk without risking getting a traffic citation. The Freedom to Walk Act says that officers can only ticket pedestrians who jaywalk if they cross “when a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of a collision.”
Many of those who advocated for the new law argued that police were handing out these tickets disproportionately. One civil rights attorney noted that “our jaywalking laws were used as a pretext to stop and harass people, especially low-income people and people of color.” These were often people who live in areas where crosswalks are rare, and a jaywalking citation is often unaffordable.
It remains to be seen whether car vs. pedestrian collisions will increase due to this new law. Pedestrians typically suffer far worse injuries in these crashes than those in vehicles.
Both pedestrians and drivers need to be aware of their surroundings. Drivers need to realize that there may be pedestrians crossing the street outside of a crosswalk or intersection.
Unfortunately, if a driver is speeding, under the influence or distracted, they may not be able to stop in time to avoid a pedestrian. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by a driver, you may be looking at significant medical bills and a lengthy recovery time. It’s crucial that you get the compensation you’re due. Having legal guidance can help you ensure that you do.