California Decriminalizes Jaywalking Due to Alleged Racial Bias

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law Friday that will decriminalize jaywalking across California, ending the familiar practice of police handing out tickets to pedestrians on the argument that the law is enforced more often against minorities than other people.

The new law, AB 2147, known as the “Freedom to Walk Act,” could bring an end to a cultural difference that has marked otherwise libertine Californians as being uniquely deferential to laws governing pedestrian traffic. The difference between Californians, who ostensibly tend to obey “don’t walk” signals, and urban dwellers elsewhere in the country, who are notoriously defiant when it comes to crossing against traffic signals, was lampooned in the 2011 film Friends with Benefits, starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake:

The bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), celebrated the governor’s action in a statement on Friday: “It should not be a criminal offense to safely cross the street. 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,” said Ting. “Plus, we should be encouraging people to get out of their cars and walk for health and environmental reasons.”

AB 2147 is Ting’s second attempt to decriminalize jaywalking in California, as he pursues fairness in the way fines are assessed and prevention of potentially escalating police stops. Jaywalking is arbitrarily enforced throughout California, with tickets disproportionately given to people of color and lower-income individuals who cannot afford tickets that can often total hundreds of dollars. When the law goes into effect on January 1, 2023, fewer working families will struggle to pay the costly citation, and police would not be able to use jaywalking as a pretext to detain someone.

Click here to read the full article in BreitbartCA


  1. Jaywalking. Now legal. Who’da thunk? Well, your mama told you not to do it, and why. Jaywalkers have always been Darwin candidates; now they are legal prey, self-created soft targets.

    I can’t imagine which communities abound with jaywalkers. What happens if I run over one? Oh, wait. I remember. Soon I’ll have no car. Saving the planet AND jaywalkers at the same time.

    P.S. Those legal jaywalkers are really in trouble when all the cars, buses and trucks go electric. They won’t hear them coming, and I’m sure the jaywalkers are too stupid to look both ways.

    Hah! Just read in the dictionary: “early 20th century: from jay in the colloquial sense ‘silly person’ + walk.”

  2. Son of Billy Jack says

    Jay walking does not bother me too much. I do however believe that their should be a minimum speed and time limits for pedestrians using crosswalks.

    The benefit of using legal crosswalks is you can drag your rear end across as slow as you want for attention.

  3. I thought the City was trying to get to a zero pedestrian death rate. This policy is destined to doom pedestrian safety. Cars hit pedestrians IN crosswalks often enough–imagine if they have people dashing out from parked cars anywhere, they’re more likely to be killed outright. Cars at least pay a modicum of attention to crosswalks in case there are people in them ….

  4. What a crock of crap! Gruesome once again at his best of idiocy…

  5. It establishes a attitude of arrogance.

    J-walking has always been an issue of police discretion. Now the State has taken that away.

    Lousy judgement by a walker, they get hit and the statements will be the driver hit me while I was legally crossing the street. So much bull.

    If you are a Democrat and hit a pedestrian who is J-walking I hope they throw the book at you.

  6. Jim Whitsett says

    Total and complete nonsense.

    Tell me we are in the ‘Twilight Zone!’

  7. Bogiewheel says

    ” “It should not be a criminal offense to safely cross the street”. ??? Why have the cities invested all that money for crosswalks with flashing yellow lights.

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