Why do people jaywalk? Time and time again, I find myself waiting at the crossing like a responsible citizen (and trying to get in the habit of setting a good example for my son), waiting for the little green man to appear. Someone else will judge the traffic carefully, and sprint across the road, breaking every one of Hector The Cat’s rules in the process. Twenty seconds later, I set off after them, and usually after less than a minute of walking at my usual frenetic pace, I’ll overtake them.

If they were in a hurry, why didn’t they walk faster once across the street? And if they weren’t in a hurry, why risk death walking against the signal? Why not just walk faster on the footpath?

Maybe it’s instinct. There’s a historically unsound theory that says that humans want to keep moving, otherwise they might get squashed by a dinosaur.

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