Jaywalking laws too severe, critics say

OLYMPIA – Taking cues from California, there's a push to lighten up on jaywalking fines - a move that hits the headlines for its impact on both the homeless community and Black pedestrians.

In Washington state, black pedestrians are stopped by police at a rate four times higher than the general population and 41% are homeless.

Jaywalking is considered a non-criminal traffic violation, carrying an average fine of $70.

In 2023, a "free-to-walk" bill gained 700 initial supporters, with another 200 endorsing the idea this year. If approved, the new bill, Senate Bill 5383, would decriminalize jaywa...


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