Is Jaywalking Illegal In The UK? Guide For People Traveling To UK

London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Many countries across the globe are imposing fines for ‘jaywalking’ and the UK is no exception. These rules are imposed for the safety of the public so they don’t use the designated crossing. It is necessary to know more about jaywalking as many British believe that it is not illegal. They believe they can cross the road whenever or wherever they like.

However, all these factors can lead to accidents and can become fatal. The concept of making jaywalking illegal was first introduced many years ago. The term jaywalking was introduced in the US. It refers to all those people who cross various roads without paying attention. This is why they generally get in the way of other shoppers as well.

Is Jaywalking Illegal in The UK?

Jaywalking is illegal in the UK for many reasons. If you don’t follow the rules it can lead to heavy fines and a lot of trouble. Usually, the Government enforces those rules that are for the benefit and safety of people. Many people risk their lives in front of ongoing traffic for crossing the road. You will find many pedestrians walking on the roads. However, the vehicle codes state that the pedestrian must not cross the road where they see a ‘don’t walk’ sign.

If you notice an upraised hand symbol they must not cross between the intersections. It is not only the UK that is imposing fines on jaywalking as USA and China are doing the same. These fines are anywhere between £115-150. It prevents pedestrians from putting their lives in danger in front of heavy traffic. If any area reports multiple jaywalking issues it will be under threat of heavy fines.

There is nothing wrong with crossing the road where you don’t see any designated crossing. Generally, people in the UK have a good education to be able to cross a street. It is better to remain careful and free yourself from such consequences.

History of Jaywalking

You will be surprised to know that over 40,000 citizens signed up a petition to limit the speed of cars. However, this seems to be a problem all over the world. Many cars on the roads don’t limit their speed and it becomes a common reason for accidents. Sometimes pedestrians are not at fault but they get into trouble. Unfortunately, bad press and opposition hold pedestrians responsible for multiple accidents. Even the local scout groups keep handing out jaywalking flyers to the public.

If anyone is seen walking carelessly it can lead to a lot of trouble. Many towns and cities have little or no power to change the rules enforced on pedestrians. Jaywalking is considered illegal due to the rules and regulations set in the 1930s. Some people may disagree with these laws but in the end, they have to follow them.

The UK is still among those countries that are not very strict when it comes to jaywalking. They may not consider it a very big offense. At the same time, the number of pedestrian accidents and injuries is comparatively lower than in the USA. In some cities, people don’t care where and when to cross the roads. The reason may be that the Government is still very serious to impose stricter rules in the country.

Read More: Why Was It illegal To Play Rugby League In Greece?

Traffic in the UK

Many UK citizens don’t consider crossing the road a very big issue. They think it is quite natural to keep themselves safe. People living in large cities will possibly favor walking or cycling as a convenient mode of transport. It helps them avoid traffic congestion and they can reach their preferred location safely and quickly. However, many other city dwellers opt to dispose of their cars altogether. As the Metro and other transportation facilities are so strong, pedestrians need not venture into the vehicle. Whether it is the London Underground or Subway it happens to be a good choice for all of them.

This is a good way to save money on car taxes and fuel. They can maintain the quality of the car without putting in much effort. When it comes to motorists they are scrapping the use of cars due to many reasons. As the number of vehicles on the street is decreasing pedestrians can find their way out to cross the road without any fear. Due to traffic congestion in various cities like London, people are opting not to use their cars for daily. This leads to a debate among people that whether jaywalking should be illegal or not. 

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.