Los Angeles–area state Assemblyman Miguel Santiago is proposing a law, AB 390, that would stop this madness. Advocates have been lobbying for the legislation because, they argue, those tickets disproportionately affect the poor and people of color.
Deborah Murphy, founder and executive director of Los Angeles Walks, says the high-traffic intersections where pedestrians have been targeted for countdown violations are often downtown or in minority areas. The tickets, which can cost about $200, amount to a regressive tax for a populace facing soul-crushing rents.
"When you look at the pedestrian population of the city, and where these tickets are issued, like at Seventh and Figueroa, there are a lot of transit-dependent people targeted," Murphy says. "I think police are being overzealous."