UPDATED 11:50 AM PT – Monday October 3, 2022
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) has signed the Freedom to Walk Act, legalizing jaywalking statewide.
The new law will make it legal for pedestrians to cross the street anywhere, including outside of designated crosswalks, so long as it is safe to do so. Proponents of the law say that enforcing jaywalking laws waste police resources and discourage people from walking.
Under the current law, individuals can receive a ticket for crossing the street outside of designated crosswalks. The new law will go into effect on January 1st.
The bill was written by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-Calif.) According to a release written by Ting, jaywalking disproportionately affects “people of color and lower-income individuals who cannot afford tickets that can often total hundreds of dollars.”
“It should not be a criminal offense to safely cross the street,” Ting stated. “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,”