Jaywalking: Who is to blame in a vehicle vs. pedestrian crash?
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Jaywalking. Most of us have probably done it, and if you haven't, you probably know someone who has.
"Yeah, I've done it," said Boise resident Ashley Laney.
"I see it occasionally," said Boise resident Ken McCormick. "But I don't think it's really that big of deal, until something happens obviously."
When something happens, like a crash, the simple act of jaywalking can make an investigation much more complicated.
Idaho Code states that "Every pedestrian crossing a highway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the highway..."
But Idaho State Law also states that "Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian..."
KBOI 2News spoke with Boise Police to clear up some of the confusion surrounding these statutes. Officer Everett Corona said the law isn't always perfectly clear, especially when each crash presents officers with different circumstances.
"It's kind of a 50/50 relationship when it comes to pedestrians and drivers," Corona said. "Everyone needs to share the road."
Corona says because each crash involves unique circumstances, it's impossible to always place blame on the driver or the pedestrian.
"As a pedestrian, you still need to make sure you're giving the driver ample time to stop," he said. "Vice versa, if you're in a car and you see somebody crossing the road, whether they're jaywalking or not, it doesn't give you that option to say 'well, they shouldn't be in the road, so I'm just going to fly right by you because you're at fault and not me.' That's when the due care thing comes in."
Corona stresses that due care applies to pedestrians and drivers.