Jaywalking Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Jaywalking, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Jaywalking?

It refers to a person specifically a pedestrian who walks on the street or crosses the street without following any traffic rules like not walking on corners or footpaths, not crossing roads on cross walks or ignoring the signal lights. If for such negligence by the said jay walker, any accidents happen by the vehicle, the vehicle owner can use the evidence of the jaywalking in his/her defence.

History and Meaning of Jaywalking

The term "jaywalking" is believed to have originated in the early 20th century in the United States. At that time, the rise of automobile use led to increased pedestrian fatalities, and many cities responded by passing laws that required pedestrians to use crosswalks and follow other traffic rules. The term "jaywalking" was coined to describe pedestrians who violated these laws and crossed the street in an unsafe and illegal manner.

In the decades since, jaywalking has remained a common term used to describe pedestrian behavior that violates traffic laws. While some people may view jaywalking as a minor offense, it can actually be quite dangerous and result in serious accidents. Many cities continue to enforce jaywalking laws in an effort to promote pedestrian safety.

Examples of Jaywalking

  1. Bob was in a hurry to get to work and didn't want to wait for the traffic light, so he jaywalked across the street and was narrowly missed by a passing car.
  2. Sarah was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk and was hit by a bicyclist. She was cited for jaywalking by the police.
  3. The city of Seattle has been cracking down on jaywalking in recent years in an effort to reduce pedestrian accidents.
  4. John was texting on his phone while crossing the street and was nearly hit by a car. He was cited for jaywalking by a police officer who saw the incident.

Legal Terms Similar to Jaywalking

  1. Reckless walking: It refers to a pedestrian who walks or crosses the street deliberately in a wrong way that exposes them to possible risks.
  2. Pedestrian negligence: It refers to a pedestrian whose actions or omissions have contributed to an accident.
  3. Traffic violations: It refers to any rule or regulation set up by the authorities to manage the movement of vehicles on the road.