Tuesday 5th February 1952
The first automatic “Don’t Walk” signs were installed in New York City, at 44th Street and Broadway in Times Square. The city erected the signs in response to the growing awareness of pedestrian fatalities in the increasingly crowded Manhattan streets. Pedestrian fatalities are essentially an urban problem, so city dwellers, next time you see a Don’t Walk sign, please don’t run. Fatal collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles occur most often between 6:00 and 9:00 pm., a period that roughly coincides with rush hour. In 1998, in hopes of minimising gridlock, New York City began strictly enforcing its jaywalking laws during rush hour. Pedestrians are subject to a $50 fine if they walk, or run, when faced with a Don’t Walk sign.