You’re in a rush to class because you’re late. The traffic light is green and there is a car coming.
You cross the street anyway, making it necessary for the driver to come to a stop. You are followed by a posse of other students who cross the street at their leisure, stopping even more traffic.
By the time the initial group has crossed the street, the light is red, and the flow of students keeps on coming. When the light is green and traffic is moving again, someone else starts the cycle.
Jaywalking is an integral part of the university experience at Texas Christian University. It is necessary to cross University Drive almost every day for every student. This, however, does not make it necessary to jaywalk.
Other universities have had issues with jaywalking. In 2008, College Station Police Department issued more than $12,000 worth of tickets in just three nights. That was 96 tickets just because people couldn’t take the extra time to use a crosswalk. While this may seem excessive, jaywalking can cause serious injuries.
On January 5, 13-year-old Takara Davis was hit by a car while crossing the street illegally in Las Vegas. Police handed Davis’ mother the jaywalking ticket as her child was on the way to the operating room. Takara remains in a coma because she and some friends weren’t crossing the street safely. Is not waiting the two minutes for the light to change really worth it?
Students should be more aware of the effect their jaywalking has on others. Time is valuable to everyone. The crosswalks are there to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, not just those on foot.
The traffic lights across University Drive allow for at least 13-15 seconds to cross the street. Once traffic resumes and then stops again, one is still within listening distance of the beeping that signals it is safe to cross the street. There can’t be more than a two- or three-minute wait.
TCU is an awesome component of the Fort Worth experience. The city backs us on everything from Go Purple Fridays to purple lights on the tops of buildings. Stopping traffic, though, isn’t exactly showing respect to other citizens of our great city. Rather, it’s a slap in the face, saying that our time is more important than their time.
I’ll admit that I’m just as guilty as the next person when it comes to jaywalking and stopping traffic. After researching, I came to realize how easy it was to eradicate the issue. Let’s not allow the normalcy of the act to be our reason for continuing to jaywalk. Let’s prove that we really are responsible citizens as our mission statement states.
Bailey McGowan is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Burkburnett.