Just today, I was given a ticket for jaywalking.
Jabbing me in the chest with his finger, a young constable stopped me as I wandering across the road near Town Hall. Jeering, he proceeded to tell me how dangerous it was to jaywalk, and then listed off statistics of pedestrians hurt or killed over the last twelve months in the Sydney CBD after being struck by cars or buses.
Jowls on his face wobbling like jelly, he implied that I was the worst type of juvenile delinquent and a very naughty young jumbuck, and would soon be jailbait if he had his way. Jauntily, he gave me the ticket, making a big song and jig about it in the process.
Jumping at the chance to demonstrate my (limited) knowledge of the law, I tried to explain my way out of a ticket by pointing out that I had not crossed the road against the pedestrian signal – I did not cross on the little red man – but rather had just crossed the street where I felt it was safe to do so.
Jerk that he was, he gave me the ticket for jaywalking regardless, making it the first ticket I had ever received from a police officer.
Jilted, I resigned myself to paying the fine. Jubliant, I was not.
Jitters back under control, I knew what needed to be done.
Jotting down some brief notes in my journal about the whole jaywalking incident, I decided then and there that I had a responsibility to let others know exactly how the laws of jaywalking work, and how to avoid getting a ticket for it.
Jogging home (with minimal jay-jogging along the way), I sat down and put together this blog entry, my first in a long time. Journaling the laws on jaywalking has been somewhat therapeutic, and I am calmer now that I was earlier.
Justice was, I feel, still not mine in this matter, and I promised myself to do everything possible to ensure that others can jaywalk justly, and jaywalk safely. Journeying from one side of the road to the other should not be this hard or costly.
Justifiable jaywalking is not an impossible dream, my friends. Jokes aside, you can cross the street legally anywhere, any time, if you know how the rules work.
Jurisdiction for this area of law is set down at the Commonwealth or national level, as the law of crossing roads is mostly contained in the Australian Road Rules, which each State and Territory then apply. Joyride now with me through the various sections of the Rules, which shows that there are a number of different ways of crossing a road or street, each of which can be regarded as ‘jaywalking’.
Jumbled though they might be, by jemmying open the door to the laws of jaywalking I have put together what I think is a complete list of what amounts to jaywalking.
Junk aside, you need to know that crossing the road within 20 metres of a designated crossing is a form of jaywalking, and so is crossing the road in a reckless manner, not crossing the road using the shortest possible path, staying on the road longer than you need to, or walking on the road in a way that is dangerous to yourself, other pedestrians or traffic (like walking in a breakdown lane, for example).
Jig, judo or javelin in the middle of the road, and you could be regarded as jaywalking.
Jewellers, the Japanese, Juventus Football Club fans, juicers and juice lovers, jumpsuit wearers and juju practitioners are all subject to this law, unfortunately. Jaundice is no excuse, nor is a love of Jumanji or jaffas.
Jute, jeans, jugs and joints are not going to help you bribe your way out of a jaywalking fine, either (actually, a joint might get you somewhere).
Jacked up with this new knowledge? Jam it in your head, and joust for joy.
Jaywalk safe and true, my friends.
Jesus, that was hard to write. Jillypuff is my favourite Pokemon. Justin, out.