Advocacy, Jaywalking, NHTSA, Pedestrian Safety, Traffic Safety, Vulnerable Road Users

Jaywalking and Pedestrian Safety

Jaywalking

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, pedestrians continue to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States – in 2015, 5,376 died as a result of their injuries as pedestrians. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashesFourteen percent of all traffic fatalities and an estimated 3% percent of those injured in traffic crashes were pedestrians.”

Pedestrian and bicyclist safety have been among the Department of Transportation’s priorities which led to the launch of the U.S. DOT Safer People, Safer Streets Initiative – Under the Department’s leadership and the Safer People, Safer Streets initiative, road safety assessments were conducted in every State, and more than 230 cities have joined the Mayors’ Challenge to improve walking and biking.

Is Jaywalking illegal?

While most cities have ordinances that prohibit crossing the street except at designated areas, most law enforcement agents do not issue tickets for violating the ordinances. Violating pedestrian traffic laws is referred to as “jaywalking”, most often by crossing a street illegally. While jaywalking is a low level offense, it can draw fines in most if not all jurisdictions. States define jaywalking differently. Major hot spots for jaywalking tickets include Las Vegas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Portland[OR], Austin and Honolulu.

Here are a few publications from NHTSA regarding pedestrian safety:

  • A Kid’s Guide To Safe Walking
    This colorful pamphlet will help you teach young children safety tips for crossing the street and things to remember when walking.
  • U.S. DOT Safer People, Safer Street Initiative
    U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has declared pedestrian and bicyclist safety as a top priority for the department. Under his leadership and the Safer People, Safer Streets initiative, road safety assessments were conducted in every State and more than 230 cities have joined the Mayors’ Challenge to improve walking and biking.
  • Focused Approach to Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
    This FHWA strategic approach provides technical assistance to States and cities with the most critical pedestrian and bicycle safety issues and helps them address these issues at their city level. Focus cities have been calculated based on the 20 cities with the largest number of pedestrian/bicyclist fatalities and any city having a population higher than the average of the top 50 cities. NHTSA follows FHWA lead in this focused approach to pedestrian and bicycle safety.
  • Tips for Preteens & Teens: Prevent Pedestrian Crashes
    Walking around traffic requires the same critical thinking skills as riding your bike and driving a car. Apply the same walking skills you learned as a kid: stop, look left-right-left for traffic and be safe, be seen. Use these skills when you walk, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Traffic Safety Facts – Pedestrians
    4,280 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in 2010, a 4-percent increase from the number reported in 2009.
  • Traffic Safety Facts – Children
    In 2011, an estimated 69,000 pedestrians were injured, 11,000 of those injured were age 14 and younger, and males accounted for 65 percent (7,000) of those 11,000 injured.
  • Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 14
    Each State should develop and implement a comprehensive pedestrian safety program that promotes safe pedestrian practices, and educates drivers to share the road safely with other road users.

Article originally found on NHTSA.org.