Dear Deputy Myers:
What is Jaywalking exactly?
California Vehicle Code defines “Jaywalking” as travel between intersections controlled by traffic signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk. Ok, so what does that really mean? Basically, if you are crossing an intersection outside of a crosswalk or controlled intersection then you would be considered “Jaywalking” and could subject yourself to receiving a ticket from a law enforcement officer.
Now, as a pedestrian you also have a responsibility to yourself and the drivers on the road. You must show due diligence for your safety and the safety of the drivers on the road and check the intersection before stepping off the curb into the crosswalk. If you step off the curb directly in front of a vehicle, it is not then the drivers fault for hitting you. You have a responsibility to look before you step. All too often individuals believe the pedestrian always has the right-of-way no matter what and that is just not the case.
Drivers have a responsibility too when it comes to pedestrians in a crosswalk. California Vehicle Code states; “The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” So, if you are in a vehicle approaching a crosswalk, slow down to look for pedestrians before you drive through it. You could save someone’s life and/or prevent yourself from getting a ticket.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of everyone on the road, whether inside of a vehicle, riding a bicycle, operating a scooter, or simply walking to watch out for one another and stay safe.
Cited sections of the vehicle code referred to are the following 21955CVC and 21950(a)CVC.
Deanna Myers is the Volunteer and Programs Coordinator for the Jurupa Valley Station of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department that services the Eastvale Police Department. She has been with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for about eight years, and most recently was assigned to patrol within the City of Eastvale before moving into her current position where she is in charge of the Neighborhood Watch program for the City of Eastvale.