ver bolted across the road to catch a bus, googled something on your smartphone and walked against a flashing red light or at two in the morning crossed an abandoned city street ignoring traffic lights? The chances are if you did, you were probably guilty of jaywalking.
Recent crackdowns across the Sydney CBD by NSW Police have seen tens of thousands of pedestrians fined for jaywalking with most not even realising what they had done. So, what is jaywalking and do you know when and where you are legally allowed to cross a road (using your feet)?
The NSW ROAD RULES 2014 cover the following scenarios
Crossing a road at pedestrian lights
– You can only start crossing at pedestrian lights (eg the red or green man) if the light is green.
– If the light turns red, or flashing red, while you are already on the road, you must “not stay on the road for longer than necessary”.
Crossing a road at traffic lights
– You can only start crossing the road at traffic lights – where there are no pedestrian lights – if the traffic lights are green or flashing yellow, or there is no red light showing.
– If the traffic lights turn red or yellow while you are already on the road, you must not stay on the road for longer than necessary.
Crossing the road on or near a crossing
– It is an offence to cross a road within 20 metres of a crossing (eg 20 metres of where there are traffic or pedestrian lights) unless you are:
(a) crossing, or helping another pedestrian to cross, an area of the road between tram tracks and the far left side of the road to get on, or after getting off, a tram or public bus, or
(b) crossing to or from a safety zone, or
(c) crossing at an intersection with traffic lights and a pedestrians may cross diagonally sign, or
(d) crossing in a shared zone, or
(e) crossing a road, or a part of a road, from which vehicles are excluded, either permanently or temporarily.
Unless you can prove the colour was wrong or you were not the person being fined, there aren’t really any defences available. The fine for jaywalking currently stands at $71 or if you elect to go to court the maximum fine is a cool $2000, now that’s a lot of Dunlop volleys!
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By Jeremy Maspero