Virginians can no longer be ticketed for jaywalking starting March 1

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Jaywalking will soon be decriminalized in Virginia, according to legislation passed in the 2020 special session.

Starting March 1, a pedestrian can no longer be stopped and ticketed if all they are doing is jaywalking.

The Virginia Senate passed SB5029; headlined as “marijuana and certain traffic offenses; issuing citations, etc.”

A part of the new legislation mentioned “the bill prohibits a law-enforcement officer from stopping a pedestrian for jaywalking or entering a highway where the pedestrian cannot be seen.”

The measure was introduced by Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, as a part of a wider police reform bill helping officers to focus more on “serious offenses.”

Jaywalking will still be considered illegal but it will no longer be considered a primary offense.

However, Virginia’s roadways have still proven to be dangerous for pedestrians. Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles data shows that 124 pedestrians were killed in 2019. Statistics for 2020 have not been released as of yet.

Willow Lawn intersection where most accidents happen, according to Lt. Pecka of Henrico County (Photo: Alex Thorson)

More information can be read about the bill and other legislation by visiting Virginia’s Legislative Information System.

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