Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jaywalking in Salem, Oregon

It's so Salem. I got "pulled over" for stepping into a crosswalk on my way to work yesterday before the light had quite turned to walk. Another woman and I were walking across the street and suddenly I heard a whoop of sirens and the officer pulled into the parking lot beside us and asked us to talk.

Now Officer Croll was very nice about all this. He explained that this was technically a fine for crossing against the light. He understood we were intellegent women who had probably looked both ways. He was just concerned that we were being a bad example for the kids who walk downtown. "There are a thousand people watching you, and a thousand people watching what I do," he said. Apparently he felt that if he didn't stop us then people would get the idea it was okay.

Now, here's my issue with this whole thing. It is actually legal to step outside the crosswalk and cross the street against the light, but you may not cross against the light inside the crosswalk.

So, apparently we think people are smart enough to look both ways and cross when there is no crosswalk, but not if there is one. What??? Does this make sense?


Anonymous said...

That is so funny and totally infuriating! I can't believe they are so stuck on that. Did you get a ticket? Ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

That last comment was from Deb, BTW :)

Rebekah said...

Thanks for adding your name to anonymous comments. It's nice to know who's talking. :)

Rebekah said...

Oh, and no I just got a verbal spanking. :)

KandN said...

I just learned that strange little factoid a week or so ago and after the lesson was delivered my jaw went slack and i began to babble nonsense.
I'm sure if we'd been there when those decisions were made it would make perfect sense. . . right?

Don Gallogly said...

This happened to me today, too. No ticket but I was threatened with a $190 fine. What's your source for the bit about stepping outside the crosswalk? I can't seem to find anything in the Salem city ordinances.

Anonymous said...

That's a urban myth about crossing outside the crosswalk.
Police should start giving out tickets to idiots who jaywalk. They can start with all those state workers that jaywalk every morning and afternoon in downtown Salem.

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