For Immediate Release: June 25, 2012
Los Angeles Walks: John Yi, firstname.lastname@example.org | 213-219-2483
Freedom to Walk Act to Decriminalize Jaywalking in Senate Transportation Committee, June 29
SACRAMENTO – The Freedom to Walk Act, a bill to eliminate jaywalking laws in California, will be heard on Tuesday, 6/29/21 in the California Senate Transportation Committee.
AB 1238 will make it legal for pedestrians in California to cross mid-block and against traffic lights, provided they don’t interfere with traffic. The bill is authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting of San Francisco. CalBike and a coalition of more than 85 groups and individuals support the repeal of jaywalking laws.
“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,” shared John Yi, Executive Director of Los Angeles Walks.
Jared Sanchez, CalBike Senior Policy Advocate said, “Jaywalking citations are disproportionately issued to Black Californians – they are up to 4.3 times more likely to be stopped than their White counterparts. Decriminalizing jaywalking will remove an opportunity for biased policing, and get rid of an unjust burden on 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.”
“Creating safe public spaces by changing policies that have disregarded the safety, existence, and joy of primarily low-income people of color across the state is overdue. This bill will begin to do that by ensuring that people forced to ‘jaywalk’ are not punished due to the decades of intentional poor infrastructure in their neighborhoods,” said Caro Jauregui, Co-Executive Director of California Walks.
CalBike, California Walks, Los Angeles Walks, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area are sponsoring the Freedom to Walk Act, which has strong support from a broad base of community organizations. Supporters include the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement, and Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice. Several city officials have expressed their support for decriminalizing jaywalking, including the Emeryville City Council.
AB1238 was passed by the California State Assembly with a floor vote of 58-16 on June 2, 2021.