Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My husband asked me to drive him somewhere this morning.  I was going down Main Street (pictured at the left) which is line with little shops, restaurants and businesses.  Quaint, tree lines, stop signs and cross walks at every corner.  As I was about one third of the way down a block I noticed that a long time business appeared to have closed, my eyes were drawn to the right.  The I saw something in front of me just as my husband said "Geez Susan!" and I braked for a woman who was walking across the middle of the street.

The adult woman had a very angry, put out look on her face and was looking at me and talking - obviously she had some choice words which I could not hear over my husband saying "You didn't see her?  You really freaked her out!"

I replied that she should be freaked out since she was jay walking and shouldn't assume anything. 

Let me say.  This is small town California.  We wait for the light to change before we use the cross walk.  For someone to cross in the middle of the street is not the norm.  Also, I really wasn't near hitting her - she didn't even appear to have picked up her pace.

Please discuss.  Should I be chastised for my wandering attention?  Am I wrong to feel in the right?


smalltownmom said...

I'm on your side. I don't like jaywalkers. They are unexpectedly where they are not supposed to be. I ESPECIALLY don't like the moms who jaywalk their kids across the street to and from school. Thank you for letting me vent!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, especially since she was jaywalking across the middle of the road and (I'm guessing) suddenly appeared out of nowhere from between some parked cars.

This happened to my husband and me a couple of years ago, only we were going almost 40 mph and my husband missed the women by about 5'. It shared the poo out of us and our daughters learned some interesting new curse words in that moment.

jenn said...

I'm with you. If you jaywalk, it should be with the understanding that you are undertakng a risk: appearing where drivers don't expect to see you and crossing where you're not supposed to cross. Crosswalks are there for a reason.

mkosboth said...

This is a huge pet peeve of mine. I live in the land of The Pedestrian has the RIGHT OF WAY. Which means pedestrians are supposed to cross at the cross walk, WITH THE TRAFFIC LIGHT, and don't have the right to just step into traffic willy nilly. It means that if I am speeding along, and there is a pedestrian already in the cross walk, I am required to stop. But if I am driving along and the pedestrian is on the sidewalk, they have to WAIT THEIR TURN. But no, that is not how the majority of citizens around here interpret it. Don't get me started on bicyclists and one way streets.

Nan said...

Ditto. People who jaywalk are responsible for dodging cars, not vice versa. Granted, we should all be alert to the possibility of weirdness (cars pulling out unexpectedly, dogs running into the street, whatever), but adult humans should know to look both ways before stepping into traffic, especially if they're not at a crosswalk.

michiganme said...

I don't like jaywalking either. I'm a walker and a biker too so I always try to be respectful of their rights while I'm driving. But when they don't follow the rules then they assume the risk that comes with it.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm not going to say I've never jaywalked, but I would certainly feel it was MY responsibility to avoid oncoming traffic.

That said--you would totally be responsible if you hit her. My son's friend failed her driver's test the first time because she didn't stop for pedestrians that were standing on the sidewalk poised to, but not yet, jaywalking.