Jaywalking is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike

Students impatiently wait to cross Stringfellow Road to get to their cars after school.

Students impatiently wait to cross Stringfellow Road to get to their cars after school.

Sudharshana Krishnan, Editor-in-Chief

As the school bell rings at 2:55, many students leave their classrooms and rush to their ride home. The buses load while cars of both students and teachers depart. In addition to the disorder within the school parking lot, heavy traffic accumulates around the school. Amidst this chaos, many students must walk home, making their commute much longer. In order to reduce their commute time, many students make the choice to jaywalk across Stringfellow Road, which has become a common – and dangerous – practice.

“We do have a problem with kids who are not abiding by the law, which is crossing at a crosswalk which is located directly in front of the school,” student resource officer Aaron Jefferson said.

In intersections without crosswalks and areas without regulations, the decision is hazardous for both walkers and drivers.

“It is hard to keep track of [people walking across the road] when I am looking at traffic ahead of me,” senior Yasaswini Doguparthi said.

Although at the time jaywalking may seem like an action that will have no effect if done correctly, it is important to remember that accidents do occur.

“People shouldn’t jaywalk around the school because there is so much traffic,” Doguparthi said. “Jaywalkers create blocks, and cars taking rights can usually never see them.”

According to the National Safety Council, almost 6,000 pedestrian accidents are caused by jaywalking every year. In addition, one pedestrian is injured every eight minutes and one pedestrian is killed every 11 minutes due to jaywalking.

“I’m afraid that if kids continue to jaywalk in front of the school, with the amount of traffic and inexperienced drivers, there may be another accident,” Jefferson said.

Jaywalking occurs most often in the entrance across from the library, near the Shenandoah Crossing Apartment Homes.  

Many students have ideas on how to prevent jaywalking and jaywalking accidents from occurring.

“There should be a security guard at the intersection [where jaywalking usually occurs] to tell students not to jaywalk,” Doguparthi said. “The rule needs to be enforced.”

Many drivers also become upset when they must stop for pedestrians in unregulated areas as this increases their commute time.

“I have to suddenly brake when I see jaywalkers [on the road]. By the time I wait for them to cross, the signal has changed, so the traffic is back,” Doguparthi said. “The cars get stuck at school much longer.

In recent months, there have been a number of jaywalking accidents. Many feel this can be prevented, and the traffic system as a whole can be improved.

“I suggest students and adults all use the crosswalk,” Jefferson said. “It’s against the law to do otherwise. You’re probably only saving about ten seconds.”