This is pretty petty and maybe just a little humorous, but a passion nonetheless. I don’t know if I can even say that it’s a passion. Maybe it’s more of a pet peeve. Either way, it’s something people need to understand.
Firstly, I have to admit it. I am an avid j-walker. It started out as a way to be lazy and cut corners but has developed into much more than that. I have discovered that I like to be in control of whether I am going to walk in front of a car or not. I don’t just cross the street like I own it though. I wait until there are clearly no cars around and then cross. That way, I don’t ever have to leave it up to the ambiguous and sometimes ignored right-of-way.
I’d like to know the percentages of people getting hit at a crosswalk vs. those hit j-walking. I’m willing to bet that crosswalks are more dangerous. In fact, I just found it. “While jaywalking is often cited as a cause of pedestrian accidents, less than 20 percent of fatalities occurred where a pedestrian was crossing outside an easily available crosswalk (http://www.slate.com/id/2234011/).” There you have it. It adds the fact that a good chunk of people that do get hit outside of crosswalks are drunk.
Needless to say, I am an advocate of safe, responsible j-walking.
This is where my passionate pet peeve comes in. I am a responsible, considerate j-walker. If you are driving, I will wait for you to pass. Please don’t stop for me. I am BREAKING THE LAW. I’ll cross once you have passed and I am clear of any other dangers. Just the same, if you are j-walking, I will not stop for you either. Don’t look at me like some inconsiderate jerk. YOU are breaking the law. Why would I stop for you? Unfortunately, even if you do walk out in front of me, it would somehow be my fault, but that’s a whole different story.
Finally, If you are at a cross walk and I am sitting there waiting for you, GO. Are you scared? You don’t have to wait for me. And there is another reason why you should have just j-walked in the first place.
All in all, anywhere you go and in any situation, whether driving or walking, I think we would be wise to follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” This will make for happy drivers, happy walkers, and fewer dead people.