There Is No “Jaywalking” Law
Jaywalking is not a legal term. It is not found in Florida statutes and has no legal meaning. Jaywalking is a derogatory slang term coined in the early 1920s by automotive interests (only about 10 to 20 percent of street users at the time) during propaganda campaigns to get traffic laws changed in their favor. Their strategy was to put the blame on pedestrians who continued to walk the streets in the way they had for centuries – crossing wherever and whenever they wished – before the automobile became popular. A “jay” was someone from the country who didn’t understand “big city” ways. So a “jaywalker” was someone the city folks could poke fun at for being ignorant. This is well-documented in the book Fighting Traffic by Peter Norton.
Some actions that people call jaywalking – such as crossing against a red light – are illegal. But crossing mid-block, which is also called jaywalking, is not illegal in most locations.