Jaywalking is a crime, in case you forgot: police say jaywalking accidents this year have risen by 20 percent

Photo: Gramicidin / Flickr
Photo: Gramicidin / Flickr

In case you conveniently forgot, jaywalking is a crime in Singapore (as most other things are). The police reminded the public today of that fact with the announcement that the number of accidents involving jaywalking pedestrians rose by 21 percent over the first half of 2017. About 30 percent of the incidents involved the elderly.

This year saw 161 jaywalking accidents in the first six months — an increase compared to 133 in the same period last year, and 109 the year before. As for the accidents involving elderly pedestrians, there were 135 this year, up from 124 last year and 103 the year before, reported The Straits Times.

Jaywalking, defined as crossing the road within 50 metres of a crossing zone, can cost you a $20 fine. But offenders can also be charged and fined up to $1,000 or jailed for a maximum of three months. Get caught doing it again and you may be fined up to $2,000 of jailed a maximum of six months.

A police spokesman, who spoke of the concerning issue of elderly pedestrians jaywalking, said that “the elderly tend to be more vulnerable than others due to their age and health.” Tragically, more than 50 percent of fatal accidents in the first half of 2017 — 11 cases in total — involved jaywalking senior citizens.

So in light of this, ST staked out North Bridge Road this morning and saw three to four pedestrians jaywalking across the street — even though there was an overhead bridge and a pedestrian crossing nearby, as well as six uniformed Traffic Police officers glaring at the offenders stationed in the vicinity. Within an hour, more than 30 offenders were stopped by the officers to have their particulars checked.

All this to say — if you’re not keen on possibly spending time in jail just ’cause you were too lazy to walk the few extra metres to a designated pedestrian crossing, don’t jaywalk.

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