Californians will soon be free to cross the street spontaneously “as long as it’s safe to do so” without receiving a penalty as Jaywalking is going to be legal.
The “Freedom To Walk Act” was amended after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it on Friday, according to assemblyman Phil Ting who sponsored the bill. Under the new rule, Police may only issue a ticket for jaywalking when there is “an urgent threat of a collision, which takes effect on January 1, 2023.”
Despite being prohibited in many states since the invention of the automobile, jaywalking regulations are seldom enforced in big cities like New York City.
According to Ting, rules in California are “arbitrarily enforced,” and before 2018, pedestrians might get a ticket for using a designated crosswalk when the countdown metre started to flash.
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Ting noted that since tickets are disproportionately issued to people of colour and those with lower incomes who cannot afford to pay, the ordinance eliminates possibly dangerous police encounters.
Data from the California Racial and Identity Profiling Act, according to the assembly member’s office, indicated that from 2018-20, black Californians were four and a half times more likely than white Californians to be stopped by police for jaywalking.
What is Jaywalking?
Crossing a roadway without using a crosswalk or other specified location is known as “jaywalking.” When a pedestrian goes against the direction of a red light or fails to yield to approaching vehicles, it may also be seen to be jaywalking in specific situations.
Even though it may not seem like a huge problem, jaywalking can be quite deadly. Nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic-related incidents annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While pedestrians aren’t always at fault for these mishaps, jaywalking may raise the possibility of being hit by a vehicle.