Seventy percent of Washington drivers believe that pedestrians who jaywalk should suffer the consequences. That doesn’t mean getting run over, just a ticket for not following the laws governing crosswalks and intersections. An even higher percentage, 81 percent, think drivers should get nailed for failing to yield.
The poll was done recently by Seattle-based PEMCO Insurance, the company that broadcasts those funny Northwest profile ads like the Urban Chicken Farmer and First Snowflake Freakout Lady.
“PEMCO wants to keeep roads safe for drivers and pedestrians, so it’s encouraging
A press release sent Monday said 622 pedestrians were killed in traffic-related accidents in Washington since 2000, so it’s no laughing matter. Despite the dire statistic, 31 percent of drivers polled admitted to crossing the street outside of a crosswalk or walking before the signal says to proceed.
Young drivers are the most tolerant. About a third of drivers under 35 think jaywalkers should not be punished if caught crossing the street illegally, and 43 percent of them admit to jaywalking at least some of the time. Men are also more likely than women to say they cross illegally some of the time — 37 percent versus 26 percent.
When I’m in a big city, I almost always cross at intersections and with the light. I heard long ago that Seattle cops are tough on jaywalkers. Don’t know if that was true then or now, but I heeded it. On this side of the water, of course, it’s a totally different scene. It’s not very often when it’s worth waiting. Maybe when the shipyard lets our or you’re in downtown Silverdale. I’ve been crossing the street wherever I want here in Bremerton for 25 years. There are hardly ever any cars. If there are, of course I wait for them. I don’t even know if there are any jaywalking laws. So it feels kind of funny when I cross in front of a cop. I always wonder if he’s going to light me up.