Just this past weekend, a pedestrian in San Antonio was struck and killed while attempting to cross the access road for Loop 1604 between Rogers Ranch and Military Drive. One vehicle managed to swerve to avoid the pedestrian, but the driver of a second vehicle apparently did not see him, so he had no time to react before hitting him. The drivers of both vehicles stopped and rendered aid and will not be charged, but it highlighted the problem of jaywalking on Texas roads.
Unfortunately, jaywalking is a huge problem throughout Texas, especially in the cities, and one such city has had enough.
Is Jaywalking Illegal in Texas?
Odessa city officials and the Odessa Police Department have embarked on a campaign to enlighten the public as to the danger of jaywalking, which is known better in legal circles as “pedestrian in the roadway.” Jaywalking is not only illegal, but is very dangerous and potentially lethal. In 2015, Odessa Police Department reported 17 traffic-related fatalities for the year and four of them involved pedestrians who were crossing busy roads outside of designated crosswalks and were hit by vehicles as a result. That number is slightly lower than the five who were killed in such accidents in 2014 and the six such fatalities in 2013, so the number is going in the right direction, but don’t tell that to the families of the victims, who were certainly devastated by their loss.
And it’s a problem statewide. Overall, ten percent of all traffic deaths in Texas involve pedestrians who are walking in the roadway. One possible reason for this, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), is that many pedestrians apparently believe that, if a vehicle driver sees them in the road, they are required to stop. Too often, police see pedestrians just walking across a busy street casually because they believe cars will just stop for them.
That is a recipe for disaster and a serious risk to life and limb. Even if cars were required to stop whenever they see a pedestrian in the roadway, they may not have the time to stop quickly enough to avoid them. As is the case with the San Antonio pedestrian above, one vehicle that saw the man was able to avoid disaster, but that driver created a possible hazard for other vehicles on the road, and the second vehicle may not have seen him until the first one swerved. And that doesn’t even take into account drivers who may be distracted somehow.
Police are warning everyone that jaywalking is very dangerous and also that it is an offense that can lead to a ticket or an arrest if you’re caught. The San Antonio injury lawyers at Hill Law Firm want everyone to get home safe & alive, whether they’re in a vehicle or on foot. Keep yourselves safe and use common sense when crossing the street. Cross at a crosswalk whenever possible and try never to cross a busy highway.