Jaywalking Becomes Legal Sunday as Many New State Laws Take Effect
Jaywalking becomes legal in California starting Sunday.
Assembly Bill 2147 no longer makes crossing a street outside a crosswalk a crime — as long as it is safe.
It is unlikely to free up time for Clovis and Fresno traffic cops.
Clovis police had issued nine jaywalking citations through Wednesday of this year. In the years 2019-21, they wrote a grand total of 13 citations.
Fresno police have issued six citations through Wednesday. In 2020 and 2021, they wrote up four and six tickets, respectively.
Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, who authored “The Freedom To Walk Act,” says enforcement of jaywalking laws has been arbitrary and typically targets people of color and those in low-income neighborhoods who can ill afford an expensive traffic citation.”
Pedestrian safety remains an issue for Fresno, especially around schools. Mayor Jerry Dyer plans to meet with school officials in the new year to discuss how to make school zones safer.
Related Story: Tearful Testimony Helps Spur New Fresno Focus on Student Safety
Fresno and Clovis police seldom issued jaywalking tickets. Now a new state law makes jaywalking legal. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
Other New Laws Start Sunday
A select look at the other new laws that start Jan. 1:
No parking lot racing: Street racing has been a problem in Fresno and is already illegal on the streets. AB 2000 extends the ban into parking lots.
Muzzling doctors: AB 2098 would allow the state medical board to discipline doctors who spread “misinformation or disinformation” about COVID. The law is being challenged by several groups, including the ACLU.
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How much do you make?: Job postings for companies with 15 or more employees must include pay scales. SB 1162 would also require employers to provide its workers information about pay scales for various job titles. Also, minimum wage increases to $15.50. There are no laws that require companies to increase the hourly rate for other employees.
A clean slate: Under SB 731, certain criminals will be able to have their records expunged, as long as they have been felony-free for the past four years. This could prevent certain crimes from showing up on background checks for things like a job or housing. Violent or serious felonies will not be automatically expunged. Sex crimes are exempt.
Bob Barker special: Game show host Bob Barker famously balked at fur coats as a prize when he hosted “The Price is Right.” A 2019 law, AB 44, now bans the sale and manufacturing of new fur products. Cue sad horn sound.
Out of order? Out of the meeting: Only a few times has a local government meeting in Fresno gotten rowdy. A Fresno Unified meeting in 2022 ended early because the board president couldn’t handle disruptions. A new state law will give local governments a tool to get people in line. SB 1100 clarifies rules of when a disruptor can be removed from the meeting. It requires a warning first.
HOA can’t ban room rentals: Home Owners Associations will no longer be able to prevent homeowners from renting rooms on their property, as long as the owner still lives on site. AB 1410.
California, The Abortion State: It wasn’t enough that voters in November enshrined the right to an abortion in the state Constitution. Several laws will make it less expansive as well. No longer can an insurance company charge a a co-pay or deductible, thanks to SB 245.
Do eggplant emojis count?: From the AP: Beginning in January, you can sue someone for sending you “obscene material” against your will. Known as “cyber flashing,” this includes nude photos or videos or other material depicting sex acts. A court could award economic and noneconomic damages, plus penalties of between $1,500 and $30,000.
New State Holidays: Happy Juneteenth (June 19), Happy Lunar New Year (January or February), and have a solemn Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (April 24). They are new holidays recognized by the state, and state employees would receive holiday pay.
Sorry for your loss: A new state labor law will guarantee workers in most private companies five days off to grieve a loved one. This includes the immediate family, grandparent, grandchild, parent in-law or domestic partner.