In Manhattan, creative jaywalking is an environmental positive, because it makes traveling on foot easier: it enables pedestrians to maintain their forward progress when traffic lights are against them, and to gain small navigational advantages by weaving between cars on clogged side streets - and it also keeps drivers on their guard, forcing them to slow down. -David Owen (via Living Car-Free in Big D)I definitely agree with this statement, and not because I like pedestrians more than drivers and somehow feel that rules shouldn't apply to everyone. Legally, of course, traffic laws do apply to everyone. But there is a difference in justice of those traffic laws, a difference that reflects the natural hierarchy of vulnerability among road users.
Motorists sacrifice the safety of other road users in exchange for speed; bicyclists do too, to a lesser extent; pedestrians do not endanger anyone else by their choice of transportation. When breaking a traffic law further exaggerates these differences it's far worse, IMHO, than when breaking a traffic law results in a more even - and safer - playing field.
When a driver blows through a red light, he's sacrificing the safety of others for his own speed even more than the already high baseline of driving. That's worse than when a bicyclist blows through a stop sign (assuming no pedestrians are around) not because bicyclists are morally superior, but because the bicyclist's behavior makes everyone slow down, which makes everyone safer.
And when pedestrians jaywalk (assuming they are not oblivious to their surroundings) they make both bikes and cars slow down. And that's a great thing.