Governor Signs Important Pedestrian Protection Measure

Monday, October 2, 2017

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago’s AB 390 to end egregious pedestrian ticketing is signed into law.

(Sacramento) – Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 390, authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), to protect pedestrians exploited by an outdated state crossing signal law that has resulted in people on foot being unfairly punished and financially overburdened.

Current state law was written when flashing red signals alone were instituted. As such, it does not appropriately reflect modern crossing signals, which now also include a countdown. As a result, it is currently illegal for a pedestrian to step into a crosswalk after the red hand starts flashing and the countdown begins no matter how many seconds are left to cross. AB 390, sponsored by the City of Los Angeles, will correct that.

“I am thrilled that the Governor signed my bill to ensure pedestrians are not preyed upon and burdened unnecessarily,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago. “This is a small but crucial step towards encouraging and reinforcing pedestrian-friendly communities such as Downtown Los Angeles,” he continued.

According to The Los Angeles Times, more than 17,000 citations were issued during a four-year period to pedestrians who stepped off the curb when the red hand was flashing. Each citation is $197, and in some instances, over $200. This outdated law unfairly punishes pedestrians who otherwise are not exhibiting dangerous crosswalk practices.

AB 390 offers a solution by making it legal for a pedestrian to proceed walking across a crosswalk during a countdown signal if there is sufficient time to reasonably complete the crossing safely. A pedestrian who begins crossing during a countdown must finish the full crossing by the time the solid red hand appears.

According to Assemblymember Santiago, other states and cities have passed similar legislation without opposition. There is no evidence of an increase in risky behavior from pedestrians as a result of these newer laws.

AB 390 will take effect on January 1, 2018.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Communications and Conveyance and a member of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.

CONTACT: Jackie.Koenig@asm.ca.gov, (916) 319-2053