Jaywalkers speak out

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With 100 new police officers patrolling the streets of Columbus, city leaders are expecting to see a decrease in crime.  But, there is still one crime that is going un-punished.  As the weather warms up this crime happens even more.  We are talking about jaywalking.

It may be faster and easier, but is it safe?

"It's actually safer to cross there, you can see what the cars are doing and people seem to pay more attention there than they do at the intersection," says jaywalker Chuck Parker.

We met up with Chuck Parker on Wynnton Road.  During our thirty minute stay we saw eight people darting in and out of traffic.  Charlotte Austin was one of them.  She explained, "I was in a hurry, I can see a clear shot, then I go."

No matter what seems the quickest or safest route, it is still illegal.

But, Columbus Police say jaywalking just isn't their priority.  Even with 100 more officers patrolling the streets they aren't actively looking for these kinds of criminals.

Jaywalkers like Nikki Bell said a ticket might actually stop her, "If I got a ticket it would stop me."

Skip Lawwill is in Columbus for the weekend and admits, "I know it's illegal." But, he and his wife still crossed two lanes of traffic and a median before making it safely to the other side. "We are in a hurry because we are going to the concert, we didn't even see."

Even though jaywalking is not enforced on a local level, police do not condone anyone darting out into traffic.  In cities where jaywalking is enforced, pedestrians can be fined anywhere between $25-100.00.

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