Free to Jaywalk


Savannah Creighton, Staff writer

Remember when Jaywalking was illegal and if you jaywalked, you would get a $250 ticket? Well not anymore, on January 1st. 2023 Govner Gavin Newsom signed a bill “The Freedom To Walk Act”. The jaywalking fine is greater than common traffic citations and parking tickets. However, the genuine concern with jaywalking laws is the uncertainty of pedestrian protection.

“Jaywalking laws do more than turn an ordinary and logical behavior into a crime; they also create opportunities for police to racially profile…”

Jared Sanchez, Senior Policy Advocate of CalBike has expressed this in the currency of the release. Zal Shroff who is the Senior Staff Attorney at the LCCRSF also said in the press release…

“For too long, our jaywalking laws were used as a pretext to stop and harass people, especially low-income people and people of color,”

It was time for jaywalking to not be a crime, California legislation AB 2147 or The Freedom To Walk Act raises the fair and equitable use of streets by Legalizing crossings outside of a crosswalk or against a traffic light when safe, ergo eliminating fines for safe crossings, additionally preventing police from using jaywalking as a false excuse to stop African American and Latinx Californians.

Though the Police can still give a ticket only if someone is walking into immediate danger of a collision. Primarily you can jaywalk anywhere, as long as you are not in definite threat you won’t get a ticket.

Michelle Perez and Khori Frazier who is Hillcrest residents share their side on criminalizing jaywalking.

“Honestly, I’m for it,” Frazier told CBS 8. “Most people jaywalk anyway as long as it’s not a super-busy street, there’s not a lot going on. I don’t think there are too many hazards that are involved with that.” – Frazier point of veiw as a pedestirans.

Though from a view as a driver which Michelle Perez expresses…

“Not safer, definitely not safer,” she said. “It may be good for pedestrians, but bad for those who are driving… because when I drive and people just cross in front of me, it’s bad!” 

This causes more of a hazard for drivers, drivers already have to watch out for cars and now pedestrians who can freely jaywalk. If the pedestrians are not paying attention and the driver who is and has to swerve can cause a collision, then the pedestrian is then at fault and can get a ticket, even if it’s on a slow-moving street- showing that people can’t just walk in front of cars in dangerous circumstances and get away with it.  As Michelle Perez has a valid concern, there are some actions that will be used.

“As long as you are smart about it, you look right, you look left, I don’t see there being an issue with jaywalking being legal now,” he said.

Another resident Enique Valdez has stated.

With safety concerns for all, jaywalking is legal. People are free to walk without the worry of getting a ticket unless they are in a dangerous situation.