For Immediate Release: October 1, 2022
Contact: CalBike: Kevin Claxton, email@example.com | 909.274.0137
Governor Newsom Signs Freedom to Walk Act
Bill ends jaywalking tickets when it’s safe to cross
Sacramento, CA — Governor Newsom has signed the Freedom to Walk Bill (AB 2147, Ting). This bill will prevent police from issuing jaywalking tickets unless the street crossing is truly dangerous. Governor Newsom vetoed a previous version of this bill in 2021, but the author revised it so police can still issue jaywalking tickets for dangerous behavior.
“We are pleased the Governor signed this important bill,” said Jared Sanchez, CalBike Senior Policy Advocate. “The Freedom to Walk Bill legalizes what people are already doing: finding the best routes to safely walk in their neighborhoods. This bill will reduce targeted policing that mostly penalizes Black and Latinx Californians and people who live in communities without complete street infrastructure.”
Inequities in neighborhood design and street infrastructure leave many lower-income California neighborhoods less than pedestrian-friendly. Because of this, policing jaywalking often amounts to punishing people for the lack of government services in their community. And jaywalking tickets can be the gateway for dangerous police interactions, especially for BIPOC folks. Police data show that Black residents are as much as four times as likely as White ones to be ticketed for jaywalking.
When a police officer cites someone for jaywalking under CVC 21955, crossing the road outside a designated crosswalk, they may face a fine as high as $250. That amount can get higher as additional violations are added. This jaywalking fine is higher than most parking tickets and some common traffic citations.