May 31, 2021
For Immediate Release
- CalBike: Jared Sanchez, firstname.lastname@example.org | 714-262-0921
- California Walks: Caro Jauregui, email@example.com | 562-320-2139
- Los Angeles Walks: John Yi, firstname.lastname@example.org | 213-219-2483
AB 1238 To Decriminalize Jaywalking to California Assembly Floor Vote
Sacramento – The Freedom to Walk Act, a bill to eliminate jaywalking laws in California, will be up for a vote on the Assembly floor this week. Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting of San Francisco, AB 1238 will make it legal for pedestrians in California to make mid-block crossings and cross against traffic lights, provided they don’t interfere with traffic.
“The Freedom to Walk Act is a necessary step to right historic injustices,” said Jared Sanchez, CalBike Senior Policy Advocate. Jaywalking citations are disproportionately issued to Black Californians – they are up to 4.3 times more likely to be stopped than their white counterparts. CalBike is a leader among a coalition of more than 85 groups and individuals who support the repeal of jaywalking laws.
“Decriminalizing jaywalking will remove an opportunity for biased policing, and get rid of 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,” Sanchez said.
“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.
“We must correct historical wrongs. We hope our legislators commit to 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. 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, and Los Angeles Walks are sponsoring the Freedom to Walk Act, which has strong support from a broad base of community organizations. Supporters include the Greenlining Institute, NACTO, ACLU California Action, and Disability Rights California.
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