Comment 31159

By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted May 20, 2009 at 09:16:14

Here's the thing about laws in a democracy: they're meant to be at our service, at the service of people to keep us safe and secure-- just like police are there for our service, and if the attitude had been one of service in the Vancouver airport case and in the LA Times link given by Ryan (above) then tragedy or near tragedy could have been avoided.

Laws aren't there for their own sake, otherwise "the law is an ass". They aren't there to harass people. And if a law lends itself more to harassment than to genuine protection, then it ought to be changed.

Nothing wrong with outlawing jaywalking in areas where it is clearly and always unsafe to do so. But there is something clearly wrong with harassing people when they choose to safely cross at a convenient spot. And why not just install some crosswalks at commonly used locations instead of fining people? Or, radical thought-- how about consistently enforcing speed limits on city streets? Why does the convenience of drivers always take priority? And I am speaking as someone who drives, and who needs to drive to get my large family places when we're all traveling together at one time(cheaper than transit fare for all of us). But I also speak as someone who walks a great deal and who prefers to walk when it is possible. It's one of the reasons we chose city life.

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