Jaywalking Is Just the Tip of Indifference to Laws

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Philip Lalka of Wheaton suggested [Dr. Gridlock, May 4] that police should step up ticketing of pedestrians who do not use crosswalks.

As someone who routinely jaywalks, I have to respond. I think the public would be better served if police increased ticketing the drivers who force me and others to cross streets illegally.

I have never come close to being hit by a vehicle while jaywalking. I have had several close calls while using designated crosswalks. Drivers often run red lights and turn right on red without stopping, even at intersections where a sign clearly instructs "No Turn on Red."

Several drivers have blared their horns at me while I was in the crosswalk with the "Walk" sign on. I think it is safer -- and others I have talked to agree -- to jaywalk than to use the crosswalks.

Of course, one must be alert and use caution while jaywalking. I'll admit the practice has some risk to it, but I am willing to assume that risk. I think that people who jaywalk are so used to doing it that even if we were ticketed, we wouldn't stop.

David Bancroft


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