SF Chronicle: CA Will Decriminalize Jaywalking in the Street, At Least in Most Cases

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday night signed a bill that will decriminalize jaywalking in California, except if the pedestrian crossing the road is in immediate danger of being hit.

AB2147 by Assembly Member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, prohibits police officers from stopping or citing people who cross the street outside of a crosswalk “unless a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger” of a collision with a vehicle or bicyclist.

Ting and supporters of the bill said bans on jaywalking are often disproportionately and arbitrarily enforced against people of color and lower-income individuals. Ting said police will no longer be able to use jaywalking as a pretext to detain someone.

“It should not be a criminal offense to safely cross the street,” Ting said in a statement. “When expensive tickets and unnecessary confrontations with police impact only certain communities, it’s time to reconsider how we use our law enforcement resources and whether our jaywalking laws really do protect pedestrians.”