Jaywalkers beware in downtown Los Angeles this holiday season

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If you’re walking around downtown Los Angeles, you might want to follow crosswalk signs…precisely. LAPD is ticketing pedestrians who don’t follow the rules.

Jaywalking tickets can cost up to $250 and you can get one for entering the crosswalk when the countdown clock or “Don’t Walk” sign is flashing. It’s technically illegal to start crossing when that digital hand appears.

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“That is the law,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “It’s not a new interpretation.”

And he says this is not a new pedestrian sting that LAPD is launching in downtown LA. Beck said officers are told during this time of year to be especially aware of jaywalkers and to cite them.

It’s LAPD’s strict but important way of saying, “be safe during the holidays, Angelenos.”

“This time of year in downtown LA, we see a tremendous uptick in pedestrian involved traffic accidents and many of which are fatalities,” said Beck on KPCC’s AirTalk.

Some who called in to the show said the countdown clock on the crosswalk signs confuse and even encourage pedestrians into thinking they have time to get from one side to the other.

Beck defended the countdown clock saying past traffic surveys and studies show that the countdown increases safety and improves traffic flow in big urban centers.

“I would rather we didn’t give any citations but I would much rather have no pedestrian fatalities,” he said.

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