That’s right; you’re free to cross the road whenever you feel like it, even if you’re not in a crosswalk. You can even do so right in front of a police officer, and they won’t be able to stop you or issue a ticket. How cool is that?
You should know that this newfound freedom to jaywalk to your heart’s content does come with a catch. Jaywalking in California is legal, provided you’re able to do so in a manner that’s considered safe.
Jaywalking in California became legal in January of 2023 when California’s CVC 21955 went into effect. When you read through the law, you’ll discover that jaywalking is perfectly legal in California, provided that you’re not in a collision while you’re jaywalking. The idea is that you are expected to pay attention and use good judgment before you walk across the road. If there is a reasonable chance that you’re jaywalking could result in a collision, either with you, another car, or even a pole/sidewalk/mailbox/etc. You will be the one who gets into trouble.
If you’re caught jaywalking in a spot where your action could trigger a collision, you will be issued a ticket. The base cost of the ticket is $196, but there will also be state fees, local fees, and assessments added to the ticket, meaning that you’ll owe significantly more than $200.
Have you enjoyed your new jaywalking privileges yet?