Jaywalking in Paris

A French pedestrian crossing sign, much less obnoxious than the yellow ones we have in the States.
For those who are not familiar with this term it means its a reckless way of crossing the street. Growing up in Tijuana I rarely used the crosswalk to cross the street, you're basically taught to look both ways a couple times just to make sure there aren't any cars coming your way and if there are just run!
When I moved to the U.S. I joined the safety patrol squad in elementary school. Again for those who are not familiar, its a group that many schools have comprised of students usually of 5th and 6th grade that stand at each corner of the street with a stop sign to ensure that cars at every stop sign make a full stop and let people cross the street. During safety patrol years and also due to the fact that you can get a ticket for jaywalking in the states, I became a "crossing the street safely" freak. That meant looking both ways a bunch of times, using the crosswalk, and not crossing the street when the red hand on the crosswalk right was on.

An American pedestrian crossing signal.
MICEFA advised the group of exchange students from California to try to blend in with the French as much as possible except when it comes to jaywalking. Despite the fact that the U.S. made me become a very cautious person when it came to crossing the street, ever since I arrived to Paris I've gone back to my old ways- crossing the streets wherever and whenever I want (as long as I don't get hit by a vehicle). It's safe for me to say that the French are very much like Mexicans when it comes to crossing the street, that's for sure.


  1. here is just like Paris and Mexico. Even though the Major's office have tried to change such dangerous mania (we're awful drivers here) people still don't know how to cross the street: i am a maniac and i can't cross the streets in the wrong place. It's such weird thing because i grew up with people telling me cross whenever because if a car hits you, you might die; but i really never got used to that and i always cross in the corners, when the semaphore is red and the walking sign is green.
    How curious it is that Mexico, Paris and Colombia have the same things omg!

  2. Honestly, from what I've seen in most other countries, it seems like the US are definitely more cautious when it comes to crossing streets. I don't think there's anything wrong with jaywalking, but I don't do it here just because if you get caught, the police give you a hard time. It's happened to me before haha!

  3. Paz: Its funny how cultures that you wouldn't think of comparing are actually very similar. I'm getting my skills back and now I'm crossing everywhere. haha.
    Nicole: Yeah, I think the U.S. is by far one of the most cautious countries. Ouch! I haven't gotten caught in the U.S. yet and I hope that I never do.