For every 15 minutes, there are about 50 pedestrians crossing an intersection. These pedestrians come from all walks of life — professionals, students, bystanders, tourists, and the like, both males and females. Some are wearing rugged clothes, while some others are in casual attire. Still other pedestrians are in their business attire. Their age range from as young as four years old to as old as 60 to 70 years old. From among the 50 pedestrians crossing an intersection, there are about 25 who cross the street against the light, or in other words, who jaywalk.
Jaywalkers have no distinct characteristics from the general pedestrians. There are jaywalkers who are professionals, students and bystanders. Male and female pedestrians were observed jaywalking. Tourists, however (especially the foreigners), are observed to be a little cautious on jaywalking. This may be attributed to the fact that since they are foreigners in the area, they are not aware of the prevailing rules, specifically the punishments, on jaywalking and thus are cautious in committing the illegal act. Jaywalking happens at any time of the day.
Jaywalkers have different reasons for crossing the street against the light, though most of them seem to be in a hurry, perhaps because they are already late for a meeting or an appointment, or for class. For some others, they jaywalk because the weather was too hot that they wanted to cross the street right away to be able to get to the place their going immediately. Some jaywalkers, however, seemed to do the illegal act for mere thrill-seeking. These are usually the bystanders. They did not seem to be in a hurry but jaywalked anyway since they seemed to be no one in sight who will apprehend them.
The other 25 pedestrians patiently wait for the light signaling them that they may already cross the street. However, of these 25, at least five were observed to have tendencies to also jaywalk, following those who crossed the street against the light with no hesitation. We say tendencies since they attempted to cross against the light but backed out after a step or two. Five others were seen to be waiting for the light to change, but eventually joined the jaywalkers after realizing that they’ll be crossing the street with many other pedestrians, so there is less risk of getting hit by motorists.
In the instances where the “good” pedestrians were stimulated to jaywalk, it was observed that they tend to follow the jaywalkers who looked like professionals — those who were in business attire. But when the jaywalkers were those who looked like bystanders — those in rugged clothes — only few were stimulated to follow. Those who were stimulated, on the other hand, were observed to be the young professionals and the students. The middle-aged and the elder pedestrians still preferred to wait for the light to change before crossing the street.
In almost all urban areas, jaywalking has been prohibited since it causes danger both to the pedestrians and to the motorists. There have been numerous reported cases of vehicular accidents that were caused by jaywalkers. However, jaywalking seemed to have become a necessity for many pedestrians to be able to cope in a fast-paced society. Any ordinary pedestrian could be a jaywalker, as jaywalkers do not have any distinct characteristics apart from the general pedestrians.
There are jaywalkers who seemed to be nonchalant about their illegal act, that jaywalking seemed to have become a part of their lives, while there are other jaywalkers who are merely stimulated by the other jaywalkers. Nevertheless, pedestrians should still be aware that jaywalking is illegal. As such, the act of jaywalking has its corresponding punishment. One may not be caught by a traffic officer while jaywalking, but a pedestrian always risks his/her life whenever he/she jaywalks — and that perhaps is the greatest punishment pedestrians could ever receive.