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Next Year, California Pedestrians Will Be Able to Jaywalk Without Getting a Ticket

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill that will allow pedestrians to cross the street away from an intersection without being ticketed, according to the office of bill author Phil Ting.

Assembly Bill 2147, also known as the Freedom to Walk Act, limits when police officers can stop and ticket a pedestrian for jaywalking.

The fine would be given only if the person crossing the street is aware that there is an immediate danger of an accident, or that they would get hit by a car.

“It should not be a criminal offense to safely cross the street. 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,” Ting said in a press release about the bill.

“Plus, we should be encouraging people to get out of their cars and walk for health and environmental reasons.”

This bill, now signed into law, is Ting’s second attempt to decriminalize jaywalking in California. The law will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Laws related to jaywalking were enacted in the 1930s, according to Ting’s office. The first changes occurred in 2018, when new laws made it legal for people to cross the street at a traffic light when the pedestrian countdown meter began to flash.

This story originally appeared on our sister station, Telemundo 52. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

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