Starting November 14th, CCSD Police Will Ticket Jaywalkers

Students should be aware of their surroundings in and out of the crosswalk.

Students should be aware of their surroundings in and out of the crosswalk.

Samantha Wolk, Staff Writer

Every morning, Spring Valley students rush across the street in a hurry to get to school.   Many of them use crosswalks, but some jaywalk in an effort to get on campus faster.  Many students don’t think jaywalking is wrong, let alone a crime, but it’s actually a misdemeanor.  CCSD School Police have made multiple efforts to stop jaywalking to no effect, but as of February 7, 2011, CCSD School Police have been enforcing a no jaywalking policy in which jaywalking students will be ticketed.  Tickets will be resolved in court and parents must be present with their child.

“Jaywalking is an ongoing problem,” said CCSD Police Officer Terry McAninch. Starting the week of the 14th two of Spring Valley Campus Officers will be assisted by additional CCSD PD Officers and Metro officers in issuing citations for this very deadly behavior.

According to Dean Taylor, the main reasons why students jaywalk are laziness and the feeling that they’re invincible.  “They don’t think about the consequences,” said Dean Taylor.  Teenagers are often stereotyped as being reckless, and jaywalking just goes to prove that point.

“Harry Potter had his invisibility cloak; teenagers have their invincibility cloak,” said Dean Taylor.   However, teenagers, and especially pedestrians, are not invincible.  They do get hurt!  In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 4,092 pedestrian fatalities in 2009.

In addition to the 4,092 pedestrian fatalities, there were many injuries caused by pedestrian-related accidents.  In fact, Spring Valley HS sophomore Mariah Uti recently experienced the effects of a jaywalking accident in her family.   On January 4, 2011 her sister Takara, an eighth grade student at Lawrence Junior High, was walking home from school with her friends when she was hit by a car.  She flew 125 feet and flipped three times in the air.  The ambulance took Takara to UMC Trauma Center, where she was put into a medically induced coma to treat her injuries.  Her 7 major injuries consisted of internal bleeding in her brain, major cuts and incisions in her head, and several broken bones.  She woke from her coma roughly two weeks after the accident, and she is now out of the hospital and living at home.  Even though the immediate danger is over, Takara is now living with many injuries that she was previously devoid of such as muscle pain, strained eyesight, and poor hearing.

“She’s not the same Takara anymore,” said Uti.  What’s even more disturbing is that Takara wasn’t even legally jaywalking.  There were no markings on the ground, but the DMV investigated the incident and stated that it was in fact a legal crosswalk because she crossed from dip in the road to dip.  Takara may not have been jaywalking, but she is still living with the consequences of a careless driver and bad circumstances.  Regardless of whether ‘it’s your fault’ or not, if it’s you against the car, who do you think will win?

Jon Inga, a student that was caught jaywalking at Spring Valley HS, agreed with Dean Taylor that he was just, “too lazy.”   “I would probably do it again, but I’d be more careful about it,” said Inga.

After hearing Inga’s unconcerned remark, Uti was concerned.  She said, “If he wants his life to end early, then he should definitely jaywalk again; but if he knows that he has a family that loves him and a lot of people who care about him, then he’d use the crosswalk.”