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Jaywalking Laws and Injuries in California

Feb 3, 2021 | Personal Injury Information

California Vehicle Code (CVC) 21955 states that “between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk.”

What are the Laws on Jaywalking in California?

Jaywalking is the term used to refer to when a pedestrian crosses a road that has marked crosswalks or a marked intersection but does so from a point other than this designated crosswalk. Jaywalking laws were put into place to protect both pedestrians and automobile drivers from avoidable car accidents. 

While you are unlikely to be arrested for jaywalking, you will probably be given a ticket if a law enforcement officer happens to see you. In California, jaywalking is considered an infraction and a first time offense in the state will cost you a minimum fine of $196. No points are assessed onto your DMV driving record. 

How Can I Stay Safe as a Pedestrian?

As a pedestrian, it is your duty and your responsibility to keep yourself safe. In addition to abiding by jaywalking rules, here are some safety tips you can follow to ensure your safety when walking:

  • Carefully observe and obey all traffic signals 
  • Always fully stop and look both ways before crossing any road
  • Never assume a driver will give you the right-of-way
  • Wear brightly colored clothing to ensure that drivers see you; if walking at night, wear   reflective clothing
  • Make eye contact with drivers through the window to ensure that the driver has seen you crossing
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Do not wear headphones or look down at your phone when crossing a road

What Should I do if I am Injured While Jaywalking?

Drivers and pedestrians are required to share the road. In turn, they also share the responsibility for keeping themselves and each other safe by staying alert and abiding by traffic rules. If you are injured while jaywalking, or if you injure somebody who was jaywalking, it needs to be determined who was at fault, or more at fault, for the accident. 

Los Angeles Pedestrian Injury Lawyer

If you get injured while jaywalking, it is more than likely that you would be found partly at fault for the accident. This does not necessarily mean that you will not receive compensation for your injuries, but we recommend you seek professional legal help from a Los Angeles pedestrian injury lawyer to avoid being found mostly responsible. If you or a loved one were injured while crossing the street we invite you to contact our office at 310-933-5171 for a free consultation.