Jason Stephens | August 18, 2023 | Pedestrian Accidents
Although they may have served a legitimate public safety function around the turn of the last century, jaywalking laws today are controversial and divisive. This does not mean that these laws are not still on the books in places like Fort Worth and elsewhere.
While jaywalking may not carry as serious of penalties as other traffic-related offenses, it can still lead to a ticket and fine that you must pay.
Jaywalking: Definition and Risks
Jaywalking refers to pedestrians crossing the street where they are not legally permitted to do so. A jaywalking pedestrian will often enter the street away from a crosswalk or intersection and cross the street in front of vehicles and other traffic. This may seem convenient for the pedestrian, but it can raise the risk of pedestrian accidents.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, of the 7,388 pedestrians killed, 5,774 of them were killed at locations other than intersections. This includes jaywalkers who cross in the middle of the street or away from designated crosswalks. Conversely, only 1,614 pedestrians were hit and killed while crossing the road at an intersection.
Moreover, more pedestrians are killed in urban areas where vehicles and people on foot are in close proximity to one another. Pedestrians who jaywalk in cities and other densely populated areas are at a greater risk of sustaining fatal injuries than those who jaywalk in rural areas.
Fort Worth Jaywalking Ordinances
The Fort Worth City Code requires pedestrians who jaywalk to yield the right of way to all other traffic traveling on the road. This places the burden on the jaywalker to make sure the road is clear, and they have sufficient space to cross the street before doing so.
Similarly, pedestrians must yield the right of way to motor vehicle traffic if they are crossing when a pedestrian tunnel or overhead walkway is available, but they choose not to use it.
However, pedestrians are prohibited from crossing the street between two crosswalks where there are operational traffic-control signals. In other words, you are not permitted to cross the street in between two marked crosswalks where those crosswalks are equipped with working traffic-control signals.
Additionally, no pedestrian can cross any intersection diagonally unless directed to do so by a traffic-control device.
For instance, suppose that you are located at the southeast corner of a typical intersection and want to get to the northwest corner of that same intersection. You would need to cross one street by heading north and then cross another street heading west to get to your destination. You are not permitted to cross diagonally from the southeast corner to the northwest corner.
No Exceptions For Absence of Traffic
The Fort Worth City Code does not contain any exception that suspends its jaywalking laws when no cars or trucks are around. Pedestrians in Fort Worth are never permitted to cross between two marked crosswalks with working signals, nor are they ever permitted to cross an intersection diagonally.
Consequences of Jaywalking in Fort Worth, TX
If you choose to cross the street where you are not permitted to do so, you could face up to a $200 fine. However, a worse potential consequence of jaywalking is being struck by a motor vehicle. No matter who is at fault in such a collision, as a pedestrian, you are more likely to suffer severe, even fatal, injuries.
Contact Our Pedestrian Accidents Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth pedestrian accidents lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107