Red Phone: Is jaywalking legal by school?

Red Phone: Safety needed on 6th Street

I was recently told by another parent at Glen View Elementary
School that the Gilroy Police Department was going to start issuing
jaywalking tickets to parents and children that do not cross at
crosswalks.
“I was recently told by another parent at Glen View Elementary School that the Gilroy Police Department was going to start issuing jaywalking tickets to parents and children that do not cross at crosswalks. Being that Glen View has no crosswalks that are controlled by signal lights, I was wondering if there were special laws in Gilroy that made it possible to receive a jaywalking ticket in a school zone for not using crosswalks?”

Red Phone: Dear Concerned Pedestrian, You can rest a little easier. As long as you are are being safe and are yielding to oncoming traffic, you won’t be cited for jaywalking, said Gilroy Police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao.

“Jaywalking” is defined under Vehicle Code 21955 as crossing away from a crosswalk “between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers.” The actual fine for this infraction is $25, or about $100 after all the court costs have been added in, according to California Legal News (www.legal-news-california.tozerlaw.com).

But where there is no intersection with lights as is the case by Glen View, this rule doesn’t come into play as long as the person is crossing safely. Vehicle Code 21950 says a person can’t “suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.”

“Pedestrians crossing the street in the immediate area around Glen View School will be in compliance of the vehicle code if they are aware of their surroundings, use caution and yield the right of way to vehicles that may be a hazard when crossing the street,” Gallacinao said.

While the police department isn’t specifically targeting jaywalking by schools, it is stepping up enforcement of other traffic related violations around schools this year to keep drivers and pedestrians safe.

People with traffic concerns can file them on the police page at cityofgilroy.org.

Here is a copy of the vehicle code

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

(c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian within any marked or unmarked crosswalk shall exercise all due care and shall reduce the speed of the vehicle or take any other action relating to the operation of the vehicle as necessary to safeguard the safety of the pedestrian.

(d) Subdivision (b) does not relieve a driver of a vehicle from the duty of exercising due care for the safety of any pedestrian within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

Pedestrians Outside of Crosswalks

21954. (a) Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway so near as to constitute an immediate hazard.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not relieve the driver of a vehicle from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.

Crossing Between Controlled Intersections

21955. 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.

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