Jaywalking Tickets In Downtown L.A. Are On The Rise

Pedestrians stepping into the crosswalk after the red hand begins to flash: STOP! That's the warning from Los Angeles Police in the Downtown L.A. area, where citations for crossing illegally have gone up substantially. Perhaps it's the fact that more people are now living and playing in the area. Perhaps its all the new entertainment from the Staples Center and the Arts District.

Whatever it is, according to LAPD's Traffic Division, during a four year period, over 13 thousand citations were written in Downtown L.A., compared to 4300 in Boyle Heights and 3500 in Van Nuys. The citations are for stepping into the crosswalk after the red flashing warning has gone on, which a lot of people don't realize, is a traffic offense.

Carol Schatz, who heads the Central City Association says that over 53 thousand people are now living in the downtown area, and while it's "good news, we all have to obey the law and make this work". She explains she is getting complaints about the gridlock caused when people trying to dash across crosswalks after they shouldn't, stop traffic from being able to move in an already congested area.

Sgt Mike Flynn, in charge of LAPD's downtown bike units, explains that it's about safety. People can and do get hit by cars, he explains, and when you have more than 2 million people a day coming in and out of the downtown districts, he adds, that's a lot of people who can get hurt.

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