No summonses were given when a 13-year-old boy was hit by a car en route to school last week. Not only was the child not in the crosswalk, according to several witnesses. “In that particular case, none of the rules for pedestrians were followed,” said Chatham Traffic Safety Officer Robert Sweetin.
The frustration in his voice was palpable as he talked about the incident. According to Sweetin, the child got out of a car while it was in traffic, then, “The boy doesn’t go to the corner and wait for the crossing guard, instead he cut between cars and popped out in front of a car” and the driver didn’t have time to see him, Sweetin said.
It was a case of jaywalking, something done every day by adults and seen by children, he said, despite efforts by both the Ppolice Department and the schools to teach how important it is to obey traffic rules. “For some people that is not enough. They continue to do it incorrectly and pose a risk to themselves or others,” Sweetin said, adding, “I don’t know a single person who would want” hitting someone with their car “on their conscience.” He called jaywalking a “selfish act” which puts the jaywalker at a much higher risk of getting hit.