Have you, like us, been using the ever-so-handy crosswalk countdown timers to gauge whether you have enough time to scramble across several lanes of traffic? As San Francisco Police Cmdr. Mikail Ali revealed to the Chronicle, those countdown timers are, in fact, a cruel trap. Another tool the SFPD could be using to nab pedestrian scofflaws.

According to Cmdr. Ali, pedestrians are not actually allowed to enter the crosswalk once the countdown has begun. It's sort of how like you're not actually allowed to enter the crosswalk once the blinky hand appears, but you're still going to do it anyway. Flaunting the countdown timer is a good way to risk earning a citation from the SFPD (or worse).

Apparently we weren't the only ones confused that crosswalk timers were not actually there to keep us safe. Muni spokesman Paul Rose told the Chronicle that the timers were "an awareness tool" and pedestrians could, "start whenever they want," only to later be corrected by Cmdr. Ali. At least he didn't get a citation.

Previously: Etiquette Week: How To Walk On The Sidewalk Like A Reasonable Human Being