The Los Angeles Police Department has recently decided to focus quite a lot of their manpower and energy on one of the least-publicized types of crime in California cities, jaywalking. Citizens of Los Angeles have complained that this strange movement is in response to the fact that the city has followed others across the nation in being friendlier toward pedestrian activity, especially with new housing and business developments in the downtown L.A. area. A bartender who was on his way to work when he took the liberty of walking across the street while the “Don’t Walk” sign was still blinking its final count. He was fined $197 when he reached the street where he works.
In the Bay area, there are so many different ordinances that they are difficult to count and jaywalking laws are among these. In San Francisco in particular, jaywalking is covered in city Transportation Codes, Traffic Codes, and Vehicle Codes (CA Vehicle Code 21955). Vehicle codes supersede both transportation and traffic codes, while traffic codes supersede transportation codes. Sifting through these is a bit like walking through a complicated maze with no end. According to state law, pedestrians have to use a crosswalk to cross the street, but only when they are crossing an intersection that has a “traffic control signal device” or is manned by a law enforcement official.