In my town, the local (non-Jewish) council, in a gesture to the Jewish community, set certain traffic light crossings to automatically go green (Walk) for pedestrians every 30 seconds or so. This is activated for Shabbat and Yom Tov.

Is there any discussion about whether this might be a Marit Ayin? If non-Torah observant drivers see a traffic light go red, and then notice that the pedestrian light goes green, they will very likely assume that the person waiting pressed the button for this to happen.

However, they also might not. There are circumstances where cross-junctions go green for pedestrians on one of the crossings at a time, when it is the right time to do so (i.e. when the lights are arranged such that no cars are supposed to drive that way anyway), and occasionally, they will just do this automatically on a cycle even with nobody pressing it.

Drivers might not be aware of these complex rules though, but they also might just not think about it.

Is anyone aware of any discussion on this, regaring Marit Ayin specifically?

Either way, things could be worse.

  • 2
    +1 for the things could be worse reference. Feb 4 at 17:31
  • That story from Australia is bone- chilling! Great question, here are my kashot- a) if it's known that there are already automatic crossings, why would our first instinct be to worry people might think it's one of the manual ones? B) does the concept of Marit Ayin apply to the thought process of people publicly driving on Shabbat? Feb 4 at 21:15
  • That article was written awhile back. Do you know of any follow up by either the rabbie or with the implementation?
    – Shababnik
    Feb 5 at 8:25
  • There's also an issue if standing by the crosswalk and cars slowing down for you. Amira lnochri issue deoiraysa
    – Moishe
    Feb 15 at 15:18
  • @Moishe yes and even worse if a non-shomer shabbat Jew slows, however, I doubt that applies to locations where cars never stop, such as at a pedestrian crossing with lights.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Feb 15 at 15:34


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