Phil Ting's Act is now law in California. You can cross the street anywhere as long as you're not creating a hazard.

, the fake "crime" created by automobile industry lobbying to blame victims of , no longer exists in California.

Enjoy your freedom to walk!

"The streets must be reclaimed. Every step that is 'jay' is defiance in the face of the automobile machine."

@scott Good for you, California! I wish jaywalking would be made legal in Washington State, too. And even better, get rid of the term "jaywalking" altogether.

@scott I had never thought of this, but I think it is 100 per cent right.

This is a nice…step…forward. But “creating a hazard” sounds subjective.

@scott I only recently learned that “Jay” was a term used to for an idiot or stupid person. Auto industry wanted to blame the victims which is this country’s m.o.

@freitag yeah, specifically it meant a country person who didn’t understand the rules of the city. Actually fits pretty well for today’s jaydrivers coming in from the suburbs and failing to yield to pedestrians

@scott you’ll be able to come to the UK and it not seem so weird that we cross when and where we believe it safe to do so.

Our Highway Code was recently updated here to explicitly state:
pedestrian > bicycle > car > truck ☺️

@scott Wow -- I had not heard about this. That's great.

@scott Good news! Not that I've ever followed street crossing 'laws' to begin with.

Whose streets? Our streets.

@scott California has been one of the worst places for criminalization of jaywalking. Amazing!

@scott I can just hear the right and their slippery slope bulls**t.
"Radical left Democrats legalized jaywalking. They're going to legalize the murder of conservatives next!" /sarcasm

@meow2u22 @scott oh i think Peterson is already on a tear in a related way. Sort of the idea that cars driving on sidewalks shouldd not be treated as criminal and that it is fascist to do so


This has always been something hard to get our heads round in Europe and other countries. Crossing a road an actual criminal offence if you don't seek out a permitted crossing point? I found it astonishing when I visited US. Land of the free?

@scott I was *today* years old when I learned the true scope of "#jaywalking" in the US. #gobsmacked

@scott this is not rational. Crossing at random places on a street is dangerous. if you are worried about your estates ability to sue for liability after you have been killed walking across a street where car drivers dont expect you to be you are silly. i f you don’t expect cars to exist you are a fantasist.

@PeterKReilly @scott That's actually not true. Statistically, you're more likely to be injured crossing at an intersection than you are crossing midblock. You believe this myth because monied interests worked hard to make us all believe it, in order to promote their own gain.

@PeterKReilly @scott The US has more pedestrian fatalities per capita than other countries which don't have the very weird concept of it being illegal to cross the road whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so.

@iaincollins @scott we also have the highest cars per capita of any major country. You have to adjust for that THEN model whether pedestrian deaths are above or below expectations in countries with pedestrian laws. I am an actuary this is the type of analytics I have spent my whole career doing.

@PeterKReilly @scott That is really not how you do data science.

The death rate for pedestrians is several times higher in the US than in places like the UK (e.g. 13 vs 3 per 100,000).

Even "adjusting" for the (much smaller!) difference in cars per capita, which doesn't make a lot of sense, you can't massage the numbers to try and make it work for you.

@iaincollins @scott my point was that you cant just say US has highest pedestrian fatality rate and then conclude that pedestrian safety laws don't work without a much more sophisticated analysis, controlling for exposure (which is 50% higher in US ). What other factors are you missing? Urban density preponderance of ignoring said pedestrian safety laws relative road speed limits differences in road construction? I dont know what accounts for the US rate of fatalities and neither do you

@scott As a UK resident, I’ve never understood the jay-walking thing. Either cross the road safely or end up in hospital, your choice. Either way, good that common sense is becoming more commonplace now.

@sahajesh @scott Americans lack sufficient common sense to wait 10 seconds for a car to go by before stepping in front of one. We also lack sufficient science education to understand how long it takes for a car to stop at driving speed vs a human at human speed.

@scott this used to be a favorite excuse for Oakland police to abuse black folks

@eberg @scott Back when I lived in Denver, it was the favorite tactic for harassing customers of gay bars, they'd detain them for crossing the street in that vicinity. It was so common people nicknamed it "gaywalking."

@scott The last time I checked, there are zero consequences in America for motorists who hit pedestrians even in crosswalks, so the “freedom to jaywalk” does not feel particularly empowering for me

@palvaro @scott Is not about not being run over, it's about not being ARRESTED for crossing the street.

Yes, there's lot of work ahead, but it's a step.

Political: California, pedestrians 

RT with CW; please see OP

It's been very arbitrarily implemented over the years. In '75 I got my 5am on a deserted street. Pretty sure it was because I had long hair.

@scott @nyanotech oooh whoa that is so cool! Growing up in Santa Cruz it felt pretty common to cross the street anywhere, so I’ve always been pretty inclined to do so. I’m stoked it’s now legal!

@tlalexander @scott @nyanotech It's been legal here for a long time, as implementation was local.

Still don't cross streets with fenced or high curb medians - that's where the danger is!


"Proponents say the law is a win in decriminalizing jaywalking, for which tickets are disproportionately given to low-income individuals or minorities who typically cannot afford to pay the tickets."

COVID lockdowns, pedestrianized streets, Los Angeles 


Whoops! I had heard about this a month or two ago, and thought it had already gone through. I was confidently crossing streets wherever I pleased (and was safe to do so) with an "I am in charge here!" attitude ever since.

I was hoping that that, coupled with walking in the streets in the specially designated "Slow Streets" enacted during the COVID lockdown, would help normalize pedestrians in my Los Angeles area.

COVID lockdowns, pedestrianized streets, Los Angeles 

@Bioluminescence Yes, it passed the legislature and got signed by the Governor some months ago, but it went into effect on New Year's Day.

@scott I am from south est Europe and I had to google jaywalking to figure out what it means. Indeed invented crime.


The new jay-walking law in Los Angeles

(The Morning Call, March 1, 1925)

@fluxed @scott “Speeded up vehicular traffic forty percent” within LA

@scott I didn't understand the rationale for this law so thank you for filling in the gaps. I still wouldn't trust people's judgement, personally.

@scott I'm visiting the UK right now & remembering how wonderful it is that some towns have pedestrian zones where people can stroll freely in the road. And I feel annoyed that this concept is foreign in most North American cities (I'd be happy to know counterexamples). Gotta love the headline reinforcing the idea that crossing the street is stil wrong by continuing to call it jaywalking.

@scott Jeez I've always jaywalked, and where I live now it's often safer to do so. If a street's deserted both directions for the time it takes to cross + a little extra, it's vastly safer than walking at an intersection. Drivers turning right only look for oncoming from the left, never those they might be, uh, plowing into on the right. Etc.

@scott LOL - Growing up in MA I knew ‘jaywalking’ was a thing but there was never a real threat of it. Some years ago I walked across a street in Pleasanton, CA without using a crosswalk. I had a friend that just about had a fit and had to sprint across before “the cops got him.”

@scott Fantastic news!

The benefits of the big cultural shifts that come from changes like this will take time but I'm so glad to see pushback against bad legislation.

This year the UK went further and enacted legislation that requires drivers to stop to let people cross if they are waiting, even if they not at a crossing point.

I'm sure that will take years to become a norm, but a welcome change (previously pedestrians only explicitly had right of way if they had already started to cross).

@scott as a Chicagoan, I did not realize that was illegal when I visited California. I still walked wherever I wanted, fuck it.

@scott I am glad you posted this alert. I will have to be a more vigilant driver. I recently had a close call with some teenagers that were dressed in dark clothing crossing where there were no street lights. They understandably yelled and cursed.

Personally, I do not think I will jaywalk any more than I do now. It will be interesting to see what happens in court when a jaywalker is hit by a car, or scooter.

@scott "This content is not available in your country/region."

@scott @cherilucas Shortly after my wife and I moved to Santa Monica from NYC in the early ‘90s we saw a guy jaywalk and get stopped by a cop. When we passed the cop was actually saying “Can you take it out of the wallet please, sir?” That was our Welcome To LA moment. From that day to this we’ve never had a visitor we didn’t warn that Yes, you can get ticketed here for jaywalking.

@scott This is a great step forward, but I'm concerned about the way this is being presented. Many news outlets make this sound like you can just cross the road whenever you want and you have the right of way, which simply isn't true. Even before this law came into effect, some people believe vehicles should always yield to pedestrians, which is simply not true.

@scott I still find it absolutely insane that we ever criminalized the act of crossing the street.

@scott I was stopped by a cop for crossing the street having not pressed the button to stop traffic. I reasoned because it was a one-way and all traffic was already stopped further down it was not necessary.

He asked if I had jaywalking laws where I came from as he looked at my UK passport. I explained we did not and he let me off with a warning.

Was not the best welcome to Hawaii.

@scott the MAssachusetts law is still on the books, but they never raised the fine from $1.

Banning various vehicles from a road or crossing is one thing, but banning pedestrians means you have no right to be there - it’s basically “No trespassing”. If the state buys the right of way to make a freeway it’s one thing, but prohibiting trespassing on the public way seems to go against half a millennia of common law.

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Car Free City

A community of people who are fighting against car dominance in San Francisco and beyond and also have various other interests.