Jaywalking is when a pedestrian illegally crosses a road. Generally, if you're in an area with a lot of traffic lights, chances are that jaywalking is illegal (CVC 21955). Downtown Davis has only a few of these:

  • 1st street after the underpass going towards campus

While it is not illegal to cross the road without a crosswalk except for the above exceptions, most drivers don't expect people to do so and you are legally obligated not to make yourself a hazard.

California Vehicle Code: Division 11 states that:

  • Pedestrians must yield right-of-way to vehicles except at marked or unmarked crosswalks. (CVC 21954)
  • Between adjacent intersections controlled by traffic control signal devices or by police officers, pedestrians shall not cross the roadway at any place except in a crosswalk. (CVC 21955)
  • Local laws can prohibit pedestrians from crossing roads at other than crosswalks. (CVC 21961)

(full text of laws)

Davis Municipal Code/22 states that:

  • Pedestrians must use crosswalks inside any school district. (22.10.020)
  • Pedestrians must cross the road at a right angle or take the shortest path to the opposite curb except at a crosswalk. (22.10.030)

Places where jaywalking often occurs are:


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2005-12-03 14:36:53   It seems like between ACE Hardware and ACE Homeware doesn't qualify as it isn't between controlled intersections? The Colleges are an example of a crossing between two controlled intersections. —JasonAller

  • And yet The Colleges are not an example of a place in the City of Davis.

2005-12-03 16:59:35   Are controlled intersections ruled by the same defenition as the ones in San Francisco are? I know there only streets with street lights boardering them are considered an example of such. Stop signs don't count. —JosephBleckman

  • Your question should now be answered.

2005-12-03 17:37:20   Just how often does the Davis police ticket people for jaywalking anyway? —AlexanderWoo

2006-03-16 21:08:00   Yesterday (15 March 06) at about 3:30pm, I observed an incident of "Jayriding" at the intersection of Covell & Pole Line. A burly and possibly intoxicated Hispanic individual rode his bike from the NE to SW corner as the traffic lights were changing. A petite Asian lady in a westbound minivan (intending to turn right on Pole Line) was forced to come to an immediate stop when she spotted him leisurely cutting towards her. The rider then performed some wheelies and "bunny hops" for his captive audience, as if his bike was a '63 Impala hopped up on pneumatics. As these maneuvers got progressively outrageous, the rider eventually lost all control and spilled onto the pavement right in front of the minivan. He lay in agony for only a few moments, but then nonchalantly stood up, picked up the bike, and walked off to the Oak Tree Plaza. —ErikAnderson

2008-03-23 12:24:31   Have to admit, sometimes it seems safer to jaywalk Downtown when there's lots of traffic. Having to watch for 2 cars going in 2 directions at the middle of a block is easier than having to watch for 4 cars going in 12 possible directions at an intersection, especially if drivers become confused over who goes next after a pedestrian has crossed during their turn. I make frequent use of the mid-block crosswalks on E, F and G streets on weekdays around noon or 5pm. —DukeMcAdow

  • That is so true. I work downtown so I tend to see a lot of bad (perhaps just confused) drivers that proceed before their proper turn simply because someone walked across the crosswalk. I've been hit once (a rather humorous incident involving me sprawled on the hood of the woman's car after she decided she could just roll through a stop sign turning right while looking left for oncoming traffic) and nearly hit about 5 other times (everytime at an intersection and usually cause the driver wasn't expecting a pedestrian), but only ever at crosswalks, and only ever downtown. I never thought of myself as accident-prone, but if its not bad driving, then maybe I'm a bad pedestrian. —SunjeetBaadkar
    • Just because you have the right of way, doesn't mean you can be ignorant for your own safety. Also, by law, pedestrians are obligated to pay attention and avoid accidents, both parties are responsible one way or another. Regarding downtown however, the most annoying thing about pedestrians is that when there is a lot of traffic and there are cars at every single stop sign both turning left, turning right, and going straight, the process actually gets complicated with many cars, and pedestrians only add into the mix. Anybody who drives into downtown regularly can attest to this. As for you people who say, "Don't drive downtown, just bike or walk", there are roads downtown for a reason.