Pedestrian Protection Measure Heads to the Governor

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago’s bill to protect pedestrians from predatory citations heads to the Governor for signature

(Sacramento, CA) – Assembly Bill 390, authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), cleared its final vote in the Legislature yesterday and is now heading to the Governor for a signature. The bill will protect pedestrians exploited by an outdated state crossing signal law that has resulted in people on foot being unfairly punished and financially overburdened.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 aims to correct that.

“I don’t believe pedestrians should be preyed upon just to fill local coffers,” said Assemblymember Santiago. “AB 390 encourages and reinforces pedestrian-friendly communities such as Downtown Los Angeles.”

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 This outdated law unfairly punishes pedestrians who otherwise are not exhibiting dangerous crosswalk practices.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.

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 be considered by Governor Jerry Brown within the next 30 days for signature.

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