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Jaywalking is when someone illegally crosses a street. Generally, pedestrians must use designated crosswalks and walk signals that indicate when they may or may not cross. Pedestrians who cross the street without using the crosswalk or who do not accurately follow the signals may be cited for jaywalking.

The severity of a jaywalking offense varies amongst jurisdictions. It might be deemed a mere infraction in some areas but a misdemeanor in others. Some jaywalking offenses are accompanied by fines while others might carry additional citations if the conduct was particularly dangerous. That being said, jaywalking laws might not always be enforced, even where technically illegal. As such, a person should research the laws in their own state or city to ensure adherence to the law.

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]