Is Jaywalking Illegal in Chicago?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_291286040.jpgThe state of Illinois is home to one of the most famous cities globally — Chicago. This vibrant city is full of exciting monuments to tour, high-rise buildings for business seminars, and gorgeous parks filled with acres of green space. Before you get too eager to roam the streets of Chicago, it is essential to remember all of the pedestrians and driving laws that are enforced throughout the city. 

What is Jaywalking?

Pedestrians, like drivers, must obey the laws of the road when exploring a city on foot. This means that walking on a busy street, running into merging traffic, or crossing a road with no crosswalk may be against the law. Jaywalking is a term primarily used in the United States that refers to pedestrians crossing the street in prohibited areas. Jaywalking comes in many shapes and sizes and can look like:

  • Running across a road with no crosswalk when traffic slows

  • Walking along a busy highway 

  • Crossing a street and avoiding the marked intersection 

It can be tempting to cross a street without using a crosswalk in a busy city such as Chicago. People choose to Jaywalk for many reasons, from rushing to get to a meeting on time to simply being eager to explore the space around them. However, jaywalking can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. 

Is J-Walking Illegal?

While jaywalking isn’t explicitly listed in Illinois state law as being illegal, pedestrians are expected to follow traffic laws and traffic signals. Pedestrians have the right-of-way on the road at any marked crosswalk or designated intersection. Usually, traffic signs indicate a pedestrian crosswalk, or there will be a crossing guard or crossing light to help pedestrians cross safely. However, in areas with no crosswalk, pedestrians must yield to the drivers on the road. 

State law states that pedestrians must:

  • Use caution at all times when crossing the street

  • Yield the right-of-way to all other traffic at an area without a marked crosswalk 

  • Use a designated crosswalk at all times when crossing at a roadway intersection 

  • Not cross a roadway intersection diagonally 

Arlington Heights Traffic Violation Attorney 

If you have been cited for a traffic violation, Arlington Heights traffic violation defense attorney Scott Anderson may be able to help you. At Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, our attorney has years of experience representing clients in traffic violation cases and other criminal defense cases such as DUIs, drug charges, and theft. For a free consultation to learn more about Illinois traffic laws or discuss traffic violations on your record, call 847-253-3400 today.