Monday, April 23, 2007

London considering a crackdown on jaywalkers

In response to a plea from Sgt. Tom O'Brien, the city's environment and transportation committee (ETC) is considering tougher penalties for jaywalking.

"When a pedestrian chooses to jaywalk by stepping off the curb onto the street . . . they interfere with the right-of-way of someone legally using the roadway," O'Brien wrote in an e-mail to Coun. Harold Usher, who chairs the city committee. "I believe there should be a reasonable recourse regarding enforcement."

O'Brien said officers can issue a hefty $130 fine -- a move officers are reluctant to take -- under a little-used city by-law that prohibits someone from interfering with public travel or use of a street.

O'Brien is recommending the ETC amend city by-laws to prohibit pedestrians from jaywalking or interfering with traffic.

He wants officers to be able to issue a $40 fine -- the same fine issued for pedestrians who disobey red or amber lights and crossing signals.

Making jaywalking illegal under a city bylaw "would add a tool to the toolbox that would make the roads safer for pedestrians," O'Brien wrote.
As there is already a law in place prohibiting pedestrians from interfering with public travel, jaywalkers who actually interfere with traffic flow can currently be charged under existing laws. The only thing that this amendment would add is more money for the statists pockets as they could then fine people for falling outside of designated crossing lines.

1 Comment:

Jake said...

Here is some interesting statistics that I made up. Now lets hypothetically assume if this bylaw becomes law and the set fine is $130 for jaywalking (as the police would like).

I'd say conservatively 25 people on a weekday could easily be ticketed for this offense from police just walking the beat or driving a cruiser. So thats $130 x 25(my estimation of offenses) = $3250 per weekday x 5 weekdays in a week = $16,250 the city would get in fine revenue during an average 5 day week.

Now, add in the weekends. I assume that weekends days would fetch 20 tickets since usually less people are around. 20 x $130 = $2600 with Sat. and Sun. = $5200 over a weekend.

So if you were to add the fine revenue for one week would be $5200 + $16,250 = $21,450 per week.

Now, there may be some variables such as the cold or bad weather and also holidays so this would account for a 15% reduction in revenue from the weekly estimate.

So lets calculate 52 weeks X $21,450 = $1,115,400 less 15% variable is $948,090 in NEW revenue for the city that this jaywalking bylaw would go to city coffers.

Now one of the recent debates going on at city hall is whether overnight parking should be allowed during the summer months. This is estimated to cost the city about $100,000 in lost revenue.

One of the main excuses that has been used by some councilors who want to keep ticketing cars for parking overnight is the lost revenue factor. Even if the overnight parking bylaw were removed and this new jaywalking bylaw enacted, the city would still net almost $850,000 in new revenue.

This leads me to my main point: If this new bylaw is brought into law, the real premise is lining city coffers not public safety.