Re: What every Brit, German, or American should know about jaywalking
- Here in Edmond, Oklahoma, city ordinances prohibit crossing between
signalized intersections (as described in Todd Edelman's posting below) in general, but
also specifically prohibit crossing Broadway (the main 6-lane north-south
route through town, former Route 66) anywhere other than at signalized pedestrian
I flout the latter of these regulations on a daily basis enroute to and from
work, crossing Broadway where I choose and deem it safe with regard to
approaching traffic, usually being able to continue on the median in my desired
direction while waiting for a gap in traffic on the other side. On numerous
instances, I have done so in plain view of a police officer, but they obviously had
other things to do, agreed with me that this ordinance is ludicrous, or were
unaware of such ordinance altogether, i. e. they did not attempt to confront me
In at least some areas of Edmond, the police seem to have an eye on
pedestrians they observe out unusually late, such as after midnight on non-weekend
nights, and then sometimes stop them to verify who they are and what they are up
One officer who checked me a while ago explained to me that due to a lot of
cars having been broken into recently in that area, they were on the lookout
for anyone out late on foot.
In another instance, an Edmond Police officer approached me as I was walking
across a parking lot near Broadway and asked me if I was OK and where I was
headed. She must obviously have seen me running across Broadway just before
that, but did not say a word about that supposedly being illegal.
V-8 pedestrian with all-wheel-drive legs in suburban Oklahoma
In a message dated 2007-01-12 17:45:50 Greenwich Standard Time,
> --- In email@example.com, "Todd Edelman" <edelman@...> wrote:[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> >DONT "JAYWALK" IN THE USA!
> Well, that's certainly an embarrassing story from the land of the free.
> However, lest our members around the world conclude that America's
> anti-pedestrian tendencies have no bounds, a quick overview of the
> legal situation may be in order.
> Laws vary more between jurisdictions (states and cities) here than in
> many other places but, in general, the street-crossing rules provide:
> * Drivers must yield to peds in crosswalks (which exist, whether
> marked or not at intersections).
> * Other than at intersections (e.g. mid-block crossings), pedestrians
> may cross, provided that they yield to all traffic close enough to
> create an immediate hazard (or similar language). Motorists must
> always exercise due care for pedestrian safety.
> * Mid-block crossings are usually prohibited only between signalized
> (controlled by traffic lights or officers directing traffic)
> intersections -- that is, along the busiest sections of roadways.
> I have never before heard of someone arrested for jaywalking in the
> U.S. Even traffic citations for the offense must be vanishingly rare.
> On the other hand, blatantly disobeying the "lawful order" of a police
> officer is an excellent way to win a trip, in handcuffs, to one of our
> jails. A large majority of Americans appear to approve of this
> heavy-handed application of official power.