We need your help reforming Washington’s jaywalking laws.
Jaywalking enforcement doesn’t protect people from getting hit by cars, disproportionately impacts Black and unhoused individuals, and is an inefficient use of public resources.
Last year, our Free to Walk bill made it farther than many thought possible, but didn’t make it to the finish line. This Session, our coalition is back with an updated bill, and we’re ready to end harmful jaywalking enforcement.
The Senate Transportation Committee heard public testimony on Senator Saldaña’s amended SB 5383 last week, and now we need your help to pass this bill out of Committee!
Take action now by sending a quick note to the Committee members.
Since last year, Transportation Choices has engaged in conversations with multiple stakeholders in order to improve the likelihood of passing meaningful reforms at the state level. We maintained our objective of ending harm from police stops while exploring how we could address issues raised by partners and make our bill as clear and consistent as possible.
An amended SB 5383 leaves the laws that govern pedestrian behavior intact, but reduces police discretion as to when they can enforce those laws. Instead of selectively using jaywalking as a pretextual stop, officers would only be able to stop pedestrians if they suddenly move into the path of a vehicle.
Dozens of police reports show jaywalking stops across Washington leading to the use of physical force by an officer, foot pursuits, or otherwise explosive confrontations. And our research has found that police in Washington use jaywalking stops not primarily for safety education, but rather to arbitrarily stop people who are walking in low-income areas in order to check for open warrants.
It’s time for Washington to join places like California, Nevada, Virginia, Anchorage, Denver, and Kansas City in ending harmful jaywalking enforcement.
Help us make our streets safer for everyone by emailing legislators today and asking them to reform Washington’s jaywalking laws!