(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) In the name of social justice, the state of California essentially legalized jaywalking, and now crime-infested Los Angeles seems to have an additional public safety problem.
The green light for jaywalking became effective on January 1 of this year after far-left Democrat Gov. (and would-be U.S. president) Gavin Newsom signed the so-called Freedom to Walk Act into law.
Under the prior law that’s no longer on the books, the jaywalking fine started at $25, but could rise to about $200 for chronic violators.
State assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who authored the repeal language, previously told CBS News that the jaywalking law is “arbitrarily enforced and tickets are disproportionately given to people of color and in low-income communities.”
Deputy L.A. District Attorney John McKinney, who is running against Soros-funded, soft-on-crime incumbent D.A. George Gascon in 2024, has, however, described the repeal of the original law as “equity run amok,” and resulting in “predictable outcomes,” Fox News reported.
He added that in Los Angeles, “The new law… has already led to 19 fatalities due to unsafe crossings,” which is nearly 75% of all pedestrian deaths so far.
Earlier today, @LAPDVTD addressed road safety. YTD in 2023, there's been 26 pedestrian-related fatalities, 19 due to unsafe crossings. CA's pedestrian fatality rate was 25% above the national average. We're committed to safer roads through driver-pedestrian collaboration. pic.twitter.com/Igc8jPzUYQ
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) August 7, 2023
“California’s pedestrian fatality rate is [already] 25% above the national average,” McKinney noted.
McKinney went on to assert that “Supporters of the new law believed it would remove a justification for police to stop and question people in minority communities. The predictable trade-off for reducing traffic enforcement has been more deaths of pedestrians.”
Assemblyman Ting has insisted that “Our law only legalizes safe street crossings when no cars are nearby. Jaywalking in traffic is still a citable offense.”
As a practical matter, a significant difference exists between crossing in the middle of the street in a congested downtown area as opposed to a suburban or rural locale. Or on a quiet city street for that matter.
But woke initiatives, even if benign-sounding, can have far-reaching implications if not perhaps unintended consequences.
Citing data from an L.A. nonprofit activist organization called Streets Are For Everyone, a group that apparently supported the jaywalking ticket repeal, Fox News reported that “The victims in pedestrian-related traffic deaths are overwhelmingly homeless. They are 40.2 times more likely to be fatally struck by a car than everyone else.””
In another example, California referendum voters, through Proposition 47, made merchandise theft of $950 or less a mere misdemeanor.
An epidemic of brazen smash-and-grab robberies has subsequently occurred, with authorities concluding that the wrongdoing is connected to organized crime retail theft rather than committed by random ransackers.
Flagrant shoplifting has forced some retail outlets to close their doors permanently in California.