Jaywalking is illegal anywhere in Idaho, but that doesn’t stop people from doing it. On busy streets, it can not only result in a fine, but it can also be deadly.
A pedestrian was killed Tuesday when he was struck by an SUV while crossing Yellowstone Avenue in Pocatello.
It was a tragic reminder of how dangerous Yellowstone Avenue and others like it can be when you aren’t using a crosswalk.
Laura Lewis, owner of Batteries and Bulbs on Yellowstone Avenue, has been here for more than five years. In that time, she’s seen it all: car crashes, fender benders, and plenty of jaywalkers.
“It’s really not safe to cross Yellowstone Avenue because there are no crosswalks and there’s really no place to put one where traffic would stop naturally for quite a distance,” Lewis said.
From McCormick Street to Alameda Road is more than half-mile. Between the two streets, there are no crosswalks. So, in order for pedestrians to get from one side to the other, they have to walk nearly a mile to get to the other side. Instead, many people resort to jaywalking.
In the past 12 months, there were 278 vehicle crashes on Yellowstone some of them involving pedestrians jaywalking.
“It’s one of our busiest roads, a lot of our main businesses are on Yellowstone. Just crossing in the middle of the day, it’s dangerous,” Pocatello police Lt. Eric Anderson said.
Pedestrian fatalities have nearly doubled over the past decade nationwide. Some research suggests that it’s due to distracted drivers.