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Jaywalking Becomes "Legal" In California

Governor Gavin Newsom passes and signs the “Freedom to Walk Act,” allowing Jaywalking to be decriminalized in California.

The newly passed law essentially allows jaywalkers to be protected under the law for walking in the middle of the streets or areas where there is nor crosswalk.

Per KCBS, the new law, called the “Freedom to Walk Act,” or AB 2147, states that police officers should not stop and cite a crossing pedestrian “unless a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of a collision with a moving vehicle or other device moving exclusively by human power.”

Before this law was passed, Californians were charged up to $198 for jaywalking in the street. This would also extend into court fees as well.

Police officers can still give out a citation to citizens that pose a threat to cars that are trying to drive by. Now, under AB 2147, jaywalkers can now walk into the middle of the street when clear without fear of any kind of ticket/consequence. Proponents and supporters of this bill have called the citations of jaywalking, “inequitable.”

California is not the only state that has focused on the decriminalization of jaywalking, with the state of Virginia focused on this issue as well.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed this into law recently in an effort to help families in poverty. It will go into effect on January 1, 2023 for all Californians.


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