It’s long been the case that pedestrians in Los Angeles and other cities throughout California could receive tickets for jaywalking regardless of whether they were in any danger of being involved in an accident when crossing the street. That’s set to change.
Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Bill 2147, also known as the Freedom to Walk Act. This new law, which will take effect on January 1, 2023, modifies the existing law. Now, police officers can only give tickets for jaywalking if a pedestrian crosses the street despite being aware there is a chance of being involved in an accident due to the presence of an oncoming car or another such hazard.
In a press release, Phil Ting, the bill’s author, stated “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.”
It will be important for police, local government agencies, and other such entities to monitor the influence this bill does or does not have on pedestrian accident rates. Although it may certainly yield positive benefits, pedestrians should not allow this news to convince them that crossing the street whenever they please is a good idea.
It’s still important to exercise caution whenever crossing the street as a pedestrian. Ways to do so include the following:
USE THE CROSSWALK
This is among the simplest and most effective ways to minimize your chances of being harmed in a pedestrian accident in or around Los Angeles. Whenever using the crosswalk is an option, do so.
PUT THE PHONE AWAY
You already know it’s vital that you look both ways before crossing the street. In our digital age, you must remember to keep your phone in your pocket or bag when crossing the street as well. If you mindlessly look down at your phone, as so many of us do when we receive text alerts, calls, or other such notifications, you might be too distracted to notice a dangerous condition.
Looking for oncoming cars isn’t enough to safely cross a road. You must also be able to hear any vehicles that might be approaching. Thus, you shouldn’t listen to earbuds or headphones while walking as a pedestrian.
MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH DRIVERS
Don’t assume a motorist is going to yield the right-of-way. Even if it’s your “turn” to cross the street, ensure a driver sees you first by making eye contact with them. If you have any doubt regarding whether a driver is going to stop, don’t begin crossing.
That said, it’s possible to exercise caution and still be harmed in a pedestrian accident resulting from the actions or negligence of another party. Review your case with a Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg if this happens. We may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your medical bills and other such losses resulting from your accident. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 310-997-0904.