The First Step to Decriminalize Jaywalking in California
SACRAMENTO, CA, April 29, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — The California Assembly Transportation Committee voted 12-2 to support AB 1238, the Freedom to Walk Act. This measure will eliminate jaywalking laws and make it legal for pedestrians in California to make mid-block crossings and cross against traffic lights.
The Freedom to Walk Act, sponsored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, is a necessary step to right historic injustices. Jaywalking citations are disproportionately issued to Black Californians, and policing these infractions provides an opportunity for biased and pretextual policing. Decriminalizing jaywalking will remove an unjust burden from low-income California residents, who can least afford to pay the fines and who are more likely to live in neighborhoods that lack infrastructure for people who walk, making jaywalking unavoidable.
”We applaud the Assembly Transportation Committee for advancing this important bill,” said Jared Sanchez, CalBike Senior Policy Advocate. “Their strong support is a sign that California is ready to leave these regressive and oppressive laws in the dustbin of history, where they belong.”
“The incredible rate at which pedestrians are dying from crashes should compel us to understand why fellow Californians navigate as such, not criminalize them. This is just the first of many steps in our fight to provide all those who walk and roll with a little more dignity. We look forward to the work ahead,” shared John Yi, Executive Director of Los Angeles Walks.
“The decriminalization of “jaywalking” is the first step in ensuring a culture of belonging on our streets for all road users. We will continue to work towards ending the current dangerous car culture across the state that is accepted as the norm and prioritizes drivers,” said Caro Jauregui, Co-Executive Director of California Walks.
CalBike, California Walks, and Los Angeles Walks are sponsoring the Freedom to Walk Act, which has strong support from a broad base of community organizations. To date, more than 85 groups and individuals have signed on to a letter supporting AB 1238. Supporters include the Ella Baker Center, Courage California, Disability Rights California, and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. Elected leaders supporting the measure include Berkeley City Councilmember Rigel Robinson, Albany Mayor Ge’Nell Gary, and Albany Vice Mayor, Preston Jordan.
On May 3, CalBike will join Los Angeles Walks and California Walks to host a national discussion on decriminalizing jaywalking. All are welcome to attend.
The California Bicycle Coalition
CalBike advocates for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities where bicycling helps to enable all Californians to lead healthy and joyful lives.
We are guided by a vision of California where:
Our public spaces, especially our streets, are safe, appealing, and accessible for Californians of every economic status, race, gender, immigration status, or ability.
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