When you’re waiting at a crosswalk, and no cars are coming by, it can be tempting to quickly cross the street even though the red stop hand is glaring at you. You may even sometimes want to cross the road in the middle of the block.
While, for the most part, you’ll be able to judge whether it is safe to cross the street, you cannot always predict what drivers will do. Just because you’ve always gotten to the other side safely when jaywalking in the past doesn’t mean you will always be so lucky.
On the other hand, you should also know how jaywalking may affect you as a driver. Hit and runs will require you to find experienced criminal lawyers in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, or whatever city the event took place in and can be a serious offense.
Here’s everything you may not know about jaywalking in Canada.
What is Jaywalking?
Jaywalking is simply crossing the street at any place that isn’t at a crosswalk on a green light.
Sometimes, jaywalking is necessary if there isn’t a crosswalk nearby or you need to cross in the middle of the block for whatever reason.
If you are choosing to jaywalk, you must do so carefully. Look both ways to ensure vehicles are not coming from any direction or that you will have plenty of time to cross if they are.
Additionally, never cross the road while distracted or when looking at your phone, as this will significantly increase your chances of being hit when crossing the street.
When possible, it is always the safest option not to jaywalk.
Is it Illegal?
Jaywalking is not technically illegal in Canada; however, you may be charged if you interfere with traffic.
If there is no accessible crosswalk or you need to cross in the middle of the block, you must ensure no vehicles are coming. Make sure to check with your provincial guidelines on how far you must be from a crosswalk to cross mid-block legally.
What if You Get Hit?
If you get hit by a car when jaywalking, get the information of the person who hit you, get checked out by your doctor even if you think you are fine, and speak to a legal advisor. If there were any witnesses, make sure they stick around to talk to the police once they are on the scene.
If the person who hits you flees the scene, try to get their license plate number and any information about the car you’re able to.
What if You Hit a Jaywalker?
It is always essential as a driver to stay alert and on the lookout for pedestrians, even when not near a crosswalk. Remember that the onus is always on the driver if they hit a pedestrian unless you prove that you acted appropriately.
If you are driving and hit someone who is jaywalking, it is essential to stay on the scene, ensure the person you hit is okay, and exchange information with them. Again, ensure witnesses stay on the scene.