Jaywalking in the Fog

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Law enforcement officers want us to watch out for jaywalkers in the streets when we have foggy weather.
Snow-covered sidewalks plus foggy weather could make for some dangerous situations.
When the sidewalks are blocked, pedestrians have to take to the streets to get from point A to point B. Add to that, when it's cold outside people usually want to get back inside as quickly as possible. That may mean they won't walk the extra distance to cross the street at an intersection.
Both city and county law enforcement say it's very uncommon for a car to actually hit a jaywalker. But the county recognizes it's a problem.
Sergeant Glenn Heidenreich of the WInnebago County Sheriff's Department says, "Especially this time of year, with the sidewalks covered with snow, we would like you to make a conscious effort to make sure that you're viewing for those pedestrians that are not able to walk on the sidewalks."
Rockford police tell me if they catch someone crossing the street illegally, they can issue a citation, though they don't enforce it all that often.
The penalty for jaywalking within the city of Rockford is a $75 fine. That's just a city ordinance. Sergeant Heidenreich says the county does not prosecute jaywalkers.


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