Normally, when you want to cross the street, you go to the crosswalk and wait for the walk sign, right? This is the best idea, but what if where you want to go is right across the street from you, and a crosswalk is far away? What do you do?
In Vancouver, have you ever seen people cross the street wherever they want? Even if there is no crosswalk there? Sometimes they have to dodge cars, or cars have to stop quickly to avoid hitting them. This is called jay walking and it’s a common thing in Vancouver. However, it is very dangerous and you should be very careful. Cars must stop and allow people to cross the street at crosswalks, but if someone is not crossing at the right spot, they could be hurt. Many people are hit by cars every year.
Jay walking is illegal in Canada, with fines varying from city to city. For example, in Vancouver, if you are caught jay walking, you will have to pay a $100 fine. In Toronto, you can expect to pay between $35-$90. Even though it’s illegal, many Canadians still jay walk and don’t think it’s wrong. If the street has no cars on it, a Canadian will cross even if there is no crosswalk. We do not think of it as illegal, but if the police catch you doing it, they will give you a ticket.
The most important thing is to be careful. Do not walk across the street when it is very busy because you might be hit by a car. Make sure it is safe to cross if you want to cross the street. It is always best to go to a crosswalk and wait for the light to say it’s safe to cross.
Be Careful! Always be cautious and use a crosswalk!