I grew up in Chicago were using a crosswalk was merely a suggestion.

So by the time I started driving I was used to people bouncing in and out of traffic like we were playing a real-life game of Frogger.

Not saying I only use the crosswalk but there might have been a time or two when I did the unthinkable and crossed the street right in the middle of it all.

Push button for walking cross the crosswalk is walk signal at Silicon Valley San jose USA
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To some, people who refuse to use the crosswalk are as bad as smokers, spitters, or litterers.

People who cross in the middle of the street are called "Jaywalkers," a term that I didn't know the origin of until today:

Today I Found Out:

it comes from the fact that 'Jay' used to be a generic term for someone who was an idiot, dull, rube, unsophisticated, poor, or simpleton.  More precisely, it was once a common term for 'country bumpkins' or 'hicks', usually seen incorrectly as inherently stupid by 'city' folk.

What's funny about that, is it's mostly city people who jaywalk. I see it way more often in metropolitan areas than I do in rural spots.

Jaywalking man about to be run over by truck
Getty Images/iStockphoto
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So the real question is, is it actually illegal to jaywalk in Illinois?

Scott Anderson Criminal Defense Attorney has the answer:

While jaywalking isn’t explicitly listed in Illinois state law as being illegal, pedestrians are expected to follow traffic laws and traffic signals. Pedestrians have the right-of-way on the road at any marked crosswalk or designated intersection.

So there you have it, jaywalking is perfectly legal, but seriously frowned upon.

Do you seriously want someone to think you're a "rube?" Just use the crosswalk.

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