Look at the creation of the class laden word “jaywalker” first used in 1917 to describe “an idiot, dull, rube, unsophisticated, poor, or simpleton”. A jaywalker described someone who was “stupid by crossing the street in an unsafe place or way, or some country person visiting the city who wasn’t used to the rules of the road”.

Today the jaywalker myth is perpetuated in “educational” campaigns that say pedestrian distraction is a function in pedestrian deaths. Studies prove that it is not, although the focus on saying pedestrian distraction is a problem takes the onus off the real culprit~the automobile manufacturers and the vehicle drivers. Countless municipalities have put jaywalking as an offence in their jurisdictions.


Date: Monday May 3, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time

You can register by clicking this link.

Join the growing nationwide movement to decriminalize jaywalking in this United States! Learn about the impacts of these laws and what advocates and policymakers are doing throughout the country to create more equitable, inclusive and just systems for ALL.

The all-star lineup of speakers and moderators include:

Angie Schmitt, Author of Right of Way;

Caro Jauregui, California Walks;

Charles Brown, Equitable Cities & Rutgers University;

Delegate Patrick Hope, Virginia House of Delegates;

John Yi, Los Angeles Walks;

and Michael Kelly, Bike Walk Kansas City.



Image: Toronto Star



  1. Just to add something to the definition of “jaywalking”. In England, a “jay” was a person from the country or small town where pedestrians ruled the roads and could walk wherever they chose. If “jays” came to London they would not have known that the rules were different there and that companies like Ford had pressured governments to decree that cars rule and that pedestrians are secondary. I would love to go back to a time when it was safe to be a proud “jaywalker”!

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