Will Jaywalking Reforms Make You Safer?

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Women and Dog Jaywalking Crossing Street Pedestrians

California has passed a new law that allows jaywalking in some cases. Beginning January 1, 2023, California police officers can only ticket pedestrians if the pedestrian’s behavior is potentially colliding. California joins Virginia, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Nevada, and Kansas City, Missouri. These states have also recently reformed their jaywalk laws and enforcement practices.

J-walk method It has existed for about a century. Before cars ruled the city, people walked where they wanted to goAs automobiles became more popular in the 1920s, pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents soared, as did pedestrian deaths. Concerned anti-car activists have begun calling for laws to regulate drivers. At the same time, automakers and auto clubs pushed jaywalk laws to regulate pedestrians. In the end, the Jaywalk Act, which regulates where and when people can be on the streets, won out.

What is behind the change?

So why is there a move to loosen jaywalk laws now? One of the main motivations driving these law changes is A desire to reduce racial profilingFor example, blacks make up about 9% of the population of Los Angeles, but they make up about one third The number of all JWalk tickets made in the city in the last 10 years.

Another reason activists want changes to the Jaywalk Act is to encourage people to ditch their cars and walk more. Pedestrian-friendly city advocates encourage people to lead more active lifestyles through unfair enforcement of crosswalk laws and unrealistic crossing rules, such as limiting crosswalks to pedestrian crossings. says it’s getting harder.

Pedestrian safety at low points

But pedestrian fatalities have reached a 40-year high as reformers seek to reduce inequality and encourage alternative transportation by relaxing jaywalk laws.driver killed an estimated 7,485 Speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving have also increased during this time, so it’s unclear whether continuing to enforce jaywalk laws will make pedestrians safer. Proponents of reforming the jaywalk law argue that enforcing the jaywalk law will not improve safety. protect the driver Not to protect pedestrians from harm.

Walking advocates say the way to improve pedestrian safety is not by enforcing jaywalk laws. In their view, urban planning that prioritizes safe walking and other alternative modes of transportation makes pedestrians safer. Cities and towns can make streets safer for pedestrians with sidewalks, improved night lighting, elevated crosswalks and pedestrian islands. According to preliminary research, Traffic calming measures is also beneficial.

Effect of J-walk reform

Jwalk reforms are very recent, and it’s too early to tell whether the loosening of the law will have any impact. measurable effect About overturning racism and pedestrian deaths.

Virginia doesn’t seem to be following the trend when it comes to the recent rise in pedestrian deaths nationwide. No increase in pedestrian fatalities has been reported since the Jaywalk Act was revised in 2020. Kansas City, Missouri completely repealed the Jaywalk Crime Act in 2021, but does not report the latest pedestrian death data. Nevada, which changed jaywalking from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine in June 2021, reported 85 pedestrian deaths in 2021, down from her 82 in 2020. did.

Although some places around the country have changed jaywalk laws, pedestrians still face jaywalk tickets in much of the United States.If you find yourself in that situation, Experienced Traffic Ticket Attorney may be able to help.

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