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Phoenix considering stiffer penalties for jaywalking

Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 20:59:26-05

PHOENIX — Jaywalking is a seemingly convenient shortcut that's cutting lives short in Phoenix. Now, city council is looking to put a cost on that choice to the tune of $250 with a new proposal.

The proposal would change Phoenix's current jaywalking laws. Currently, an officer can choose to issue a warning on a first offense. Under the new proposal, a first offense would result in a ticket and $250 fine while, a second offense could mean jail time.

"We do think that it will basically impact people that have less income," said Ryan Boyd from the Urban Phoenix Project, an advocacy group for pedestrian-friendly streets. Boyd says people cross where they think it's safest.

He adds, "that's often not where they're actually safest because our streets are designed with half a mile or more walk to get to a designated crosswalk." Boyd believes improved street design is the city's solution, not costly fines for people who are already struggling.

ABC15 reached out to the City of Phoenix's Street Transportation Department and Councilwoman Thelda Williams who created the proposal for comment. Both were unable for an interview and unable to provide a statement.