Not really a scam just a warning. Jaywalking in Kraków (and probably other Eastern European cities) will get you a stiff on the spot fine, which must be paid in cash. Don't do it! Includes all definitions of jaywalking, crossing before a light turns green, crossing in the middle of a block, etc. Cops in these cash-starved countries are watching.
How much was the fine?
Interesting. I am generally cautious when crossing streets in foreign cities, tend to do what the locals do but also don't want to be a statistic--or pay a fine!
Jaywalking in Kraków (and probably other Eastern European cities) will
get you a stiff on the spot fine, which must be paid in cash.
So one should not expect to pay a fine when Jaywalking in Paris or Rome? Or just not "on the spot"? But, to support your presumption if you ride the metro in Budapest without a ticket, and if you are caught, the fine on the spot is 8.000 forints. And Budapest is in Central Europe.
Ignore, I am just yanking your chain. WAIT!!! You are the same guy that got the insanely high traffic fine in Italy? https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tourist-scams/insanely-high-traffic-fines-in-italy-rip-off-alert You have paid more fines in one year than I have in 40 years of travel.......
isn't jaywalking an offence in the US too?
plus you posted this in scams - as you say it's not a scam - its a local law.
You might get arrested and thrown in the cells if you do it in Atlanta.
Here in the DC area speed cameras in some of the most affluent counties in the nation rake in millions a year in the name of public safety. Your experience is just a low-tech version of the same thing.
....and if you get hit by a car or cause an accident there while jaywalking, you won't get public sympathy, a generous jury award, or an apology from the driver. You might even buy them a new car.
RE: isn't jaywalking an offence in the US too?
Here in these United States, states have their own laws except: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Here in my State of Oregon mid-block crossings (even without marked crosswalks) are not illegal. (Crossing against traffic control devices, e.g. "Don't Walk" are a violation of the state code.)
An interesting discussion on "The “Bad” Pedestrian — Jaywalking And The Law" starting on page 51 of Ray Thomas, "Oregon Pedestrian Rights: A Legal Guide for Persons on Foot" is reproduced below.
“Jaywalk” is not a term that is defined in the Oregon Vehicle Code but is
certainly a part of our “legal” vocabulary. To “jaywalk” is to be a “bad”
pedestrian by engaging in some sort of illegal or unwise behavior while
on foot. Professor Peter Norton from the University of Virginia has
studied the roots of the term and how it became a tool in the culture
conflict between the pedestrian culture and the promoters of the motor
vehicle shortly after the turn of the last century.
In 1909 “jaywalker” was a colloquial midwestern term describing a
country person who came into the city and got in the way of other pedestrians
on the busy streets while gawking at all the sights. But promoters
of the new automobile industry took the term over to strengthen the
automobile's claim to street space. They transformed “jaywalker” to
describe someone in the street who was not paying attention to approaching
motorists. However, before this campaign it was the pedestrian who
had the right of way against the “joyriders” in automobiles; collisions
were viewed as the result of motorists not paying attention to the lawful
presence in the street of regular folks. But in 1908, Henry Ford began
mass producing the Model T so it became readily available (over the next
19 years, over 15.5 million were sold). As the number of cars increased,
the pedestrian’s right to be in the street was challenged and a transformation
began that included a methodical and effective national campaign
to push the pedestrian to the side of the road.
Poorly designed pedestrian facilities that impede walking travel, overly
restrictive laws that don’t make sense, and lack of safe crossings all
contribute to perpetuate use of “jaywalking” as a label for “bad” pedestrian
behavior. The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan states “‘Jaywalking’
is not a legally defined term in Oregon law. It does not mean
crossing a street midblock” (Chapter 5, Street Crossings, p. 2 (2007
Public Review Draft)).
Oregon re Jaywalking:
OREGON BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN DESIGN GUIDE
CHAPTER 5: STREET CROSSINGS
“Jaywalking” is not a legally defined term in Oregon law. It does not mean crossing a street
midblock. The Oregon Vehicle Code states that it is illegal for pedestrians to:
Cross a street against a traffic signal;
Cross the street outside of a crosswalk
without yielding to vehicular traffic;
Cross the street outside of a crosswalk at an
Proceed in a crosswalk in a manner
that causes an immediate hazard to an
approaching motor vehicle.
Crossing the street is not a crime [in Oregon]
In many instances, a midblock crossing has fewer conflicts than a crossing at an intersection, as gaps in traffic are easier to judge; at intersections, there are additional conflicts with vehicles turning left and right into the pedestrian’s path. On one-way streets the upstream side of the intersection has fewer conflcts; there is no turning traffic and the pedestrian need only find a gap in one direction of traffic.
Midblock vs. Intersection Crossings
The Oregon Vehicle Code allows pedestrians to cross midblock outside of a crosswalk, but they must yield to motor vehicles (ORS 814.040).
James, can you post the amount of the "stiff fine"? I'm Polish, don't typically jaywalk, but I'm curious to learn how much this could set a person back in Polish zloty.
The same James that is complaining about getting a speeding ticket in Italy. My - quite the little law breaker, aren't we? ;) ;) (Please note the winky faces - I have been known to jaywalk in many places but just haven't been caught...yet)
Notice how James never returns after chucking these gems?