Jaywalking is a naughty thing

Filed under: Teens, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education

When I was a kid, nobody ever thought twice about jaywalking. You checked for cars, made sure they couldn't get you, and crossed. In the middle of the block, against the light, whatever. Then I got "pulled over," if you will, over in a smaller town in the East Bay. I looked for oncoming traffic and, seeing none, crossed the street against the light. The light changed and a cop car pulled up next to me. The cop got out, stopped me, and chewed me out for crossing against the light. He said that there were two teenage girls who had watched me cross and that they really work hard with the schools to get kids not to jaywalk. So, he had to stop me. Luckily, he didn't actually give me a ticket, although, apparently, he could have.

It's a good thing I was just in the East Bay, not on the East Coast. In Teaneck, New Jersey, police have started issuing tickets to middle school students who cross the street in the middle of the block. So far, at least five students -- including one eleven-year-old -- have been cited. The students were put in the back of a patrol car and returned to school, along with the ticket and its $54 fine.

"I don't want them to receive the fines, but I also understand they need to listen in terms of being on the sidewalk," noted Thomas Jefferson Middle School principal Antoine Green. He also says his staff has repeatedly warned students about the dangers of jaywalking. A PTA meeting was held last Wednesday to try and convince the school and police to come up with another way to discourage jaywalking.

Personally, it seems to me that if you're going to enforce the laws against jaywalking, hitting people in their pocket book is probably a pretty good way to do it. I'd be willing to bet that after a few kids bring home a $54 ticket, parents are going to make sure their kids follow the rules.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.