Jay Walking Is Not Worth The Risk…

Nyat Meharry, Journalist

This is a picture of people jaywalking on a busy street in a city.


Have you ever jaywalked? I bet many of us have. Your reasons for jaywalking may have been because you’re in a rush, the road is safe to cross, there are no cars in sight, or you just don’t think it’s a big deal. Even if you think those reasons may be valid, there will always be hazards to crossing a road illegally that could cause things you never imagined may happen when jaywalking. In this news story, I will be showing you the many hazards and effects of jaywalking
and why jaywalking isn’t always the safest way to cross a road…

What is jaywalking?
Jaywalking is when you cross a road or street unlawfully and not at a designated crosswalk.

Why is jaywalking a problem?

When pedestrians cross a road illegally, sometimes the vehicles passing wouldn’t be able to see a person crossing which could be dangerous for that person. This could lead to the driver hitting them and causing serious injuries to the pedestrian or even death. Now some people may think that jaywalking is okay as long as there are no cars, but that’s the problem. Pedestrians see that there are no cars and proceed to cross the road thinking they’re safe but for all, they know a car could be coming straight toward them and hitting them without them even knowing.

How does this relate to Renton High School?

As everyone knows during lunchtime you can go off campus to nearby stores and restaurants to get lunch. One close store that a lot of people go to for lunch is Safeway which is located right next to our school. In between our school and Safeway, there’s a pretty busy street that you have to cross to get to Safeway. Children jaywalk on this street every day, without being cautious of the cars that may be passing. Sometimes students just cross the street without looking both ways or just follow other students when crossing. Students have gotten close to getting hit multiple times but that doesn’t stop people from crossing the street illegally which is a huge problem.

What kind of legal trouble can you get into for jaywalking?

A lot of police officers don’t see jaywalking as one of their main priorities when keeping people safe because of how often it happens and how normal it has become but if you were to get caught jaywalking or get in an accident because of jaywalking, what would happen? If you were to get into an accident, both you and the driver can be held accountable for the injuries caused. The pedestrian can file a claim against the driver’s insurance but they can protest that the pedestrian’s own negligence played a part in the incident. If you were caught jaywalking you can be fined or get arrested. Depending on the state you can be fined from $1 to $1000. In Seattle, the fine for jaywalking is $56.

How can we stop this from happening?

To avoid any casualties from happening make sure to:
-Stand at a designated crosswalk or area and wait until it’s safe to walk
-Looking both ways before crossing the street
-Make sure you are aware of your surroundings


Jaywalking is a very dangerous thing that could lead to many legal consequences and physical injuries as we now know. So if there are safer options for crossing a street that could avoid all these problems, is jaywalking really worth it?