Just a few hours ago, I was given a ticket for jaywalking by a police officer, and now I have to pay a jaw-dropping fine of over $100.
Jabbing me in the chest with his finger, the young constable responsible for this injustice proceeded to tell me how dangerous it was to jaywalk, then listed off statistics of pedestrians hurt or killed over the last twelve months in the Sydney CBD after being struck by cars or buses.
Jowls on his face wobbling like jelly, he implied that I was the worst type of juvenile delinquent and a very naughty young jumbuck, and would soon be jailbait if he had his way.
Jauntily, he gave me the ticket, making a big song and dance about it. Jigging and jagging like a jinx was he.
Jumping at the chance to demonstrate my knowledge of the law, I tried to explain my way out of a ticket by pointing out that I had not crossed the road against the pedestrian signal – I did not cross when the little red man was showing – but rather had crossed the street well away from the traffic lights, where it was safe to do so.
Jerk that he was, he gave me the ticket for jaywalking despite my jam-packed arguments. Jackass, I thought, referring to the policeman and myself.
Jilted, I resigned myself to paying the fine. Jubilant, I was not.
Jitters back under control, I knew what needed to be done.
Jotting down some brief notes in my journal about the whole jaywalking incident, I decided then and there that I had a responsibility to let others know exactly how the laws of jaywalking work, and how to avoid getting a ticket for it.
Jogging home (with minimal jay-jogging along the way), I sat down and put together this section.
Justice was, I felt, not mine in this matter, and I promised myself to do what I could to ensure that my readers know how to jaywalk justly and jaywalk safely. Journaling the laws on jaywalking has been therapeutic, and I am calmer now that I was earlier today.
Journeying from one side of the road to the other should not be hard nor costly, legally or financially speaking.
Justifiable jaywalking is not an impossible dream, my friends.
Jokes aside, you can jaywalk legally anywhere, at any time, if you know how the law works in this jagged system.
Joyride with me through the various sections of the Australian Road Rules, as these tell us exactly what amounts to ‘jaywalking.’
Jumbled though they might be, by jemmying open the door to the laws of the road, I have put together what I think is a complete list of what amounts to jaywalking, and how you might avoid it.
Junk information aside, what you really need to know is that crossing the road within 20 metres of a designated crossing is a form of jaywalking, and so is crossing the road in a reckless manner, not crossing using the shortest possible path, staying on the road longer than you need to, or walking on the road in a way that is dangerous to yourself, other pedestrians, or traffic (like walking in a breakdown lane, for example).
Jig, judo, or javelin in the middle of the road, and you could be regarded as jaywalking.
Jewellers, the Japanese, Juventus Football Club fans, juicers and juice lovers, jumpsuit wearers, and juju practitioners are all subject to this law, unfortunately. Jaundice is no excuse, nor is a love of the movie Jumanji, its far superior sequel, or the now hard-to-find chocolate treat known as jaffas.
Jute, jeans, jugs, and joints are not going to help you bribe your way out of a jaywalking fine, either (actually, a joint might get you somewhere).
Jacked up with this new knowledge? Jam it in your head, share it with others, and jaywalk safe and true, friend.
Jesus, that was hard to write. ‘J’ is such a weird letter.