You may have thought it couldn’t happen here. Well, apparently, it could.
On Wednesday afternoon, a senior was fined by the Yale Police Department for that most popular of campus crimes: jaywalking.
Timothy Lind ’18 was fined $75 after crossing the street at the intersection of Hillhouse Avenue and Trumbull Street, an area regularly frequented by Yale students making their way to class on Science Hill.
In an interview, Lind told the News that an officer standing at the intersection in front of his police car watched him cross the street before asking for his driver’s license and student ID. Afterwards, Lind said, the officer gave him a $75 ticket for “reckless use of highway by a pedestrian.”
“I did not intentionally break any laws; I did cross in the crosswalk in addition to spending several seconds checking both directions to make sure it was safe to cross and that my doing so wouldn’t require any drivers to slow down,” Lind said in an email to the News.
The Yale Police Department did not respond to emails and phone calls requesting comment. But in a statement, Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said that “ensuring that pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers arrive at their destinations unharmed while navigating the often crowded streets of New Haven is a university goal.”
“Yale police officers have full discretion when enforcing traffic safety laws, and with each incident, they take into account the safety of pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists,” the statement said.
Mark Abraham ’04, executive director of the data analysis nonprofit DataHaven, said that over the last decade, there have been several severe vehicle crashes, some involving pedestrians, within a few blocks of the Hillhouse-Trumbull intersection.
The most recent crash involved a woman hitting a pedestrian with her car in August 2015. The crash occurred at the intersection of Orange and Bradley streets — approximately three blocks from the Hillhouse-Trumbull intersection — and left the injured pedestrian with four broken limbs. The driver was charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving.
The Connecticut statute against jaywalking stipulates that any pedestrian who “negligently or recklessly” disregards traffic signals or the signals of an officer, or who “recklessly disregards” their own safety will be fined between $35 and $55. Jaywalking is a regular occurrence at Yale, where the sight of students dodging cars on Elm and College streets is a staple of campus life.
Lind said he does not understand why he was fined above the maximum charge for his infraction. In a post on Overheard at Yale — which included a photograph of the ticket — Lind said he plans to contest the fine.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include a statement by University spokesman Karen Peart.
Christina Carrafiell | email@example.com