Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Fake Jaywalking Tickets for Kids: A Sad Reflection of Our Awful Streets

11:12 AM EDT on April 21, 2016

Who is responsible for the safety of kids on the street?

The question of how to keep kids safe on Louisville's dangerous roads is a thorny one. Photo: Bike Louisville
Street safety is your responsibility, kids. Get used to the idea of paying a fine for walking! Photo: Bike Louisville
false

In Louisville, where the pedestrian fatality rate is higher than average, a city agency called Bike Louisville will be using grant funds on a safety education program that issues fake jaywalking citations to kids.

Branden Klayko at Broken Sidewalk says the program may be well-intentioned but there has to be a smarter way to spend that money:

According to Bike Louisville’s grant application, “The classes will teach our youth to walk and bicycle defensively, to anticipate dangerous situations, and to react appropriately.”

And that has been sparking controversy in online forums.

Louisville’s streets are deadly, built with the sole purpose of moving cars rapidly, and the city ranks above the national average for pedestrian fatalities -- it’s not easy for anyone outside of a car to get around. We’re not going to educate our pedestrians out of our street safety problem. And even the most defensive walker is still no match for a distracted driver.

While educating children in proper street safety is certainly important, the underlying message that we should raise our children to "walk defensively" on Louisville streets misses the mark. On the surface, it appears to condone Louisville’s unsafe streets and place responsibility for dealing with it on the shoulders of bikers and pedestrians. Additionally, on our city’s dangerous streets, sometimes the safest place to cross the street is actually in the middle of a block, not at a crosswalk where multiple chaotic turning motions of motorists can end up being more dangerous -- which could be termed jaywalking. What’s worse, this approach could end up teaching some Louisville pedestrians that our streets are unsafe and they’re better off driving in a car to avoid the risk. And as we have already explored in depth, jaywalking to begin with was originally a campaign begun by car manufacturers to stigmatize walking and get people off the street to make them easier to drive cars on.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Seattle Transit Blog reports that the Seattle region's big transit expansion plan calls for the construction of 9,700 parking spaces at the insane cost of $80,000 per stall. And Plan Philly has the news about revised property tax policies in the City of Brotherly Love that may encourage more development and less vacancy.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Understanding Car Culture ‘Denialism’ Can Help Safety Advocates Respond

Opponents of change sow confusion with fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations (moving goalposts), conspiracy theories, and selectivity (cherry picking). We can fight back.

March 4, 2024

PROWAG Can Make Cities More Accessible — So Here’s What You Need to Know

America has waited more than 12 years for the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines to be implemented. Here's why they matter.

March 4, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Don’t Throw Money at Roads

States are flush with cash from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but they've opted to spend most of it on roads and bridges, and very little on transit.

March 4, 2024

Experts Urge Feds To Get Impaired Driving Tech Right — And They Need Your Help

A new vehicle safety tech requirement could save 10,000+ lives a year, a new working group says – but only if we implement it in a thoughtful way that wins public acceptance.

March 4, 2024

NYC Debuts Public E-Bike Charging for Delivery Workers

Finally, they’re taking charge! The city’s first public e-bike charging station opened in Cooper Square on Thursday — the start of an overdue six-month pilot that is part of a “Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan” for delivery workers that Mayor Adams announced last year.

March 1, 2024
See all posts