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As noted here on Daily Kos, police apprehended a female jogger during a jaywalking sting in Austin last week, startling the woman, then proceeded to drag her to a squad car and arrest her for failing to produce I.D.

I was reminded of this article from a couple months back about the L.A.P.D. busting pedestrians with $197 tickets for stepping off the curb seconds after the "DON'T WALK" sign had started flashing. $197!

I'm not a confrontational person, but if there is one issue that could plausibly lead to my being tazed by a cop, it is this awesomely stupid and unfair harassment of pedestrians. I live in Austin; the traffic is generally ghastly. People traveling on foot deserve encouragement and respect, not gotcha operations that slap them with outrageous fines.

And what selective concern about safety! I can't be trusted to cross the middle of the street when no cars are coming, but talking on a cellphone while driving is legal in many places. But hey, if you're proceeding on the "WALK" signal when a distracted driver turns into you, it's no problem, right?

(Adding: I realize there are pedestrians who do unsafe things like wandering across highways drunkenly in the middle of the night, or obliviously crossing at a green light in front of traffic. Police should be focusing on these egregious cases, not the majority of people going about their business without posing real safety risks. And again: while I don't know what the Austin fines are, L.A.'s $197 is way too steep, with the potential to cause hardship for many people.)

Get a signed print of this cartoon from the artist. Follow Jen on Twitter and Facebook

Originally posted to Comics on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can we give tickets to cops who jaywalk ? (16+ / 0-)

    Can we give tickets to cops who park illegally ?

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:56:08 AM PST

  •  Everyone knows that pedestrians are all just (21+ / 0-)

    moments away from goose-stepping or starting a March for some subversive cause.  Hippies.  Commies.  Nazis.  All of them started as pedestrians. Coincidence?  I think NOT!!  

    Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year.

    by koosah on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:59:14 AM PST

  •  The car is practically a holy symbol in America (13+ / 0-)

    I've seen the term "car CULTure" used to describe our love affair manic obsession with the automobile. Ultimately it trickles down in to our laws. How dare pedestrians impede our right to drive! Who do they think they are?!

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:59:37 AM PST

    •  It's especially bad, when it comes to sharing (13+ / 0-)

      the road.  At least pedestrians are on the sidewalk where they belong, but how DARE a non motorized vehicle, such as a bicycle want equal access to the roadways.  After all, they didn't pay the gasoline tax, or registration fees!  Get back on the sidewalk, where you can run over some pedestrian, you spandex-loving hippie.  /snark

      I rode my bike pretty much everywhere for about a year, when I didn't have access to a motor vehicle.  It kept me in pretty good shape, and was fairly stress reducing, save for random encounters with motorists.  I've had drivers scream at me to get on the sidewalk, cuss at me and flip me off, simply for being on a bicycle, even though I do my best to follow all traffic laws, and be respectful of other drivers.  

      I've gone back to driving again, since my current work/school schedule isn't really conducive to cycling, but I miss it tremendously, and I'm trying to ease my way back into it (which is tough, when you've gotten out of shape).  

      •  Cars are dominant (10+ / 0-)

        It comes down to how we continue to build our cities.  In Seattle, they marked off a bunch of "lanes" with bike symbols.  

        It's just that the bikes don't actually have a lane.  They just have a spot that's marked.  It gives the cyclist a serious illusion of safety.  

        What we really need are dedicated bike lanes.  That way, you can have a variety of non-auto transportation.   For instance, I wouldn't ride a recumbent bike in city traffic.  

        Unfortunately, there are many bad actors on bicycles.  Cyclists frequently want to be treated as cars, but when they are not able to match the speed of traffic, they aren't allowed to stay in the lane.  

        We have had numerous accidents in which cyclists have been killed here in Seattle.  The most recent death was a result of the cyclist's bad judgement.  I cringe at the thought of that cyclist, and I have real pain for his family.  I'm only using this as an example of the fact that we also need to have cyclists be better aware of their skill level, and have them be better informed on the law.  

        I remember using the bike lanes in Holland.  That was beautiful.  We have some similar paths here in Seattle, but they aren't really for very broad usage.  They go to a limited number of places.


        by otto on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:27:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ft Collins, CO is like that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foresterbob, thanatokephaloides

          Many of the main roads have dedicated bike lanes. Drivers have to cross them to move into the right turn lanes, but otherwise they're for bikes only.

        •  No bike lanes in Seattle? (0+ / 0-)

          Geez if you do an image search for 'bike lanes Seattle' you get hundreds of pictures of Seattle bike lanes.  How are they different from bikes everywhere else in the US?  That's all any lanes are, a piece of the pavement separated by paint.  Heck, the pictures show that Seattle's even putting in bike ahead boxes.  Must be nice.

          Never met a cyclist who wanted to be treated like two tons of machinery.  Funny how people anthropomorphize cars.

          You're talking about the separated path system in the Netherlands.  Not bike lanes.  That's different.  

          •  That would be 'bike lanes' (0+ / 0-)

            Don'tcha hate it when you notice the glaring error five seconds after you hit the 'post' button?  The second sentence would be "How are they different from bike lanes everywhere else in the US?"

          •  I see (0+ / 0-)

            So, you're just quibbling with the definition of bike lane.

            I get it.  

            And, if bikes want to be using the same road, they should follow the law.  They should get off of the road if they can't match traffic's pace. That is the law.  


            by otto on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:21:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, kjmclark, separate bike lanes. (0+ / 0-)

            Many cities have them, though few cities have many of them.  In the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul MN) there is a system of separated bike paths that runs along former railway lines which extends into the suburbs and rural areas, connects to an excellent parkway system which makes a large loop through both cities and connects all the major city parks, all of which has separated bike lanes.  Still, there's a lot of bicycle traffic on the city streets.

      •  When you were a biker, did you run (4+ / 0-)

        every single red light, like almost all of the bikers I see on the road?

        And it's especially dangerous/annoying when this means that a long line of cars has to pass the biker several times on a 2 lane road because the cars have to stop at lights, while the biker just ignores all traffic safety laws.

        •  Agreed. The issue isn't about equal access (7+ / 0-)

          equal treatment, or even equality.   Bicycles are supposed to obey the traffic laws, just like the cars.   I often drive through a university campus and have gotten to where I cringe every time I see a bicycle because more often than not they disregard every traffic rule.  Stop at a stop sign, not on a bike.  Give any sort of turn signal, not on a bike.  Right of way at an intersection, assume the bike has it, always.  Bikes belong on the road, not the sidewalk, insane I tell you.

          I've also had some issues with pedestrians.  They have a designated time and place to cross the road and when a single or even a group of them decides that they want to whenever and wherever it is suddenly convenient, it can create a real dangerous situation.

          In the end, most of it comes down to common courtesy.  If everyone followed that, we wouldn't need to make up rules and laws in the name of safety.

          "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

          by blackhand on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:20:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In not all places is this illegal. (9+ / 0-)

            In Idaho, where I live, the bicycle laws—passed in the '80s—are surprisingly progressive. The Idaho Stop Law allows a cyclist to treat a stop sign as a yield sign (requiring him/her to stop only if there are other cars to whom they must yield) and stop lights as stop signs (stop, the proceed). Right turns on red are treated as yield signs.

            Now, this is not an excuse to proceed willy-nilly through intersections without any situational awareness, but it does allow me to keep my momentum, especially in a residential neighborhood with stop signs every block, little to no traffic and decent visibility. Also, if I'm using the full lane in town—where I can maintain the same speed as a car due to traffic signals—I won't rush around the line of cars at the light, unless there is a bike lane and it's open (free of snow or other debris).

            Most states are different; however, I wish they would follow Idaho's example. In the 30 years since the laws were changed, accidents and fatalities have dropped considerably. While some people may be breaking the law, I would try to learn the bicycle laws of a state before judging a cyclist as an uninformed motorist, just as a general rule.

            "The patriarchal form of government readily becomes despotic, as each person may see in his own family. Fathers…behold with impatience a new character and way of thinking… An empire is an immense egotism." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'The Young American'

            by JuDGe3690 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:34:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bikers burn carbohydrates, not hydrocarbons... (6+ / 0-)

          ...if I see one fail to make a full stop to conserve momentum - while I'm sitting on my ass behind the wheel, spewing CO2 out my tailpipe in air-conditioned comfort - I'll cut the biker a little slack.

          I do cringe, however, when I see a road warrior in neon spandex blast through an intersection without even coasting long enough to look left and right.

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:53:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I almost ran over Lance Armstrong twice!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tempus Figits, aratinga

            I live in Austin, and here the bicyclists and pedestrians act as if there are no laws, other than the fact they have the right of way in all cases.

            I can't defend the cops for how they treated the pedestrian they arrested.  However the area they were patrolling is completely out of control.  It is very difficult and dangerous to drive there because it is a busy part of the University of Texas campus, and students walk around like cars don't exist at all.  And a jogger that jaywalks while wearing earbuds so they can't hear cars honking or cops yelling at them, that is just the icing on the cake.

            The cops should not have arrested her, that entire event is entirely bogus.  However the fact she was jaywalking while jogging is a self-deafened state, she is part of the problem those cops were there to stop...  She is actually part of a problem a big larger than her bogus arrest.  So she deserves the ticket, if not several.

            But the cops are clearly part of a larger problem here in Austin as well.  They have a tendency to over react, and once they have a chance to calm down and rethink, they don't... they just keep on doing what they are doing wrong...  This arrested jogger is an example.

            but to explain the subject line, in my time in Austin, I have encountered Lance Armstrong exactly twice, and both times he was attempting to suicide under the wheels of my car.  Typical Austin cyclist... The first time I'm at a red light signalling a right turn, sitting one car back from the light.  The light turns green, and I'm driving forward, and as I reach the corner and start turning right, lance and another cyclist come speeding past me on the right, and bounce off my bumper as they illegally pass me in the middle of my legal right turn.  As they clear me and continue across the intersection, Lance turns to look at me, and shoots me the finger.

            The second time was a few years ago, before his big controversy...  I was driving on a public street, and was blocked by a large number of people in the road, that were the crew for a photographer taking a picture of someone on a bike.  I waited patiently behind someone directing traffic, as the photographer finished up, and they cleared everyone out of the road.  Once the road was clear, they flagged me to proceed.  As I'm driving by what looked like a movie shoot, someone suddenly takes several steps into the roadway with his back toward me...  so I slam on my brakes, stopping short of hitting him, and making enough noise to make him turn and face me, and it was Lance, once again giving me a dirty look as if I was the one that did something wrong.

            But yes, Lance with his cheating and self-absorbed way of treating the people around him is a perfect representation of the bicycle and pedestrian problem we have in some parts of Austin.  They feel so entitled to their "right of way" that they act like all cars must cease to exist when they are on the road.  Never mind that it is difficult to avoid running them over when they do something stupid.

            So forgive my rant... I think the cops were trying to do something we need... but they over reacted and failed to re-assess the situation once they had it under control.  No excuse for it.

        •  Where do you live, with such scofflaw cyclists? (7+ / 0-)

          I live in the SF Bay Area. We have a lot of cyclists here. Some of them, unfortunately, run red lights, but most of them don't.

          No place that I've ridden has "almost all" cyclists running red lights. I've ridden in over half of US states.

          I've observed that if I'm with a driver who says that "almost all" cyclists run red lights, I start pointing out lawful cyclists. "See that guy over there waiting? See that woman there? Also see those two drivers failing to come to a full stop at that stop sign?" And the person is forced to admit that they noticed bad behavior in cyclists but not good behavior, and don't notice bad behavior in drivers.

          •  Seattle (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JerryNA, thanatokephaloides

            I also see cyclists do what they want, when they want, all of the time.  Many also ignore pedestrians and expect them to stay out of their way on sidewalks and shared paths.

            The best safety item for bicycles are LED lights, used in the daytime as well as night.  You can see a flashing LED a couple of blocks away in the day, giving drivers ample time to adjust.  The alternative is the driver suddenly coming upon a bicycle and having seconds to avoid them (which is why they are so cranky about bicycles on the street).  If I drive without headlights on in the city, I always get cars trying to make turns in front of me.  If they can't see a car coming, what hope is there for a bicycle?

          •  scofflaw cyclists (0+ / 0-)
            Where do you live, with such scofflaw cyclists?
            It could be Colorado Springs, Colorado.

            Ever since the US Olympic Committee located here, our roads have been infested with "cyclists" like this. Neon spandex-clad scofflaw you-know-whats, who treat all their fellow road-users (cyclists, pedestrians, and motorized alike) like crap. These are to cycling what runners are to pedestrianism: folks functioning at an idiotic level because the blood has left their brains.

            I'm an old ex-highway cyclist. I followed the laws and used the best courtesy I could, including actually stopping when signs and signals called for it. Maintaining momentum isn't as important as showing a little love to your fellows on the road.

            But I guess that's all passe' today.....


            "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

            by thanatokephaloides on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:34:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  In Austin (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In Austin near the university areas, bicyclists and pedestrians act as if cars don't exist, and there are no traffic laws.

            We have a lot of wealthy people riding bikes, they aren't all students.  Many are legislators, lawyers, and other high-profile professionals.  Enough so that they frequently run media campaigns urging motorists to respect the bicyclists...

            But in my experience this is not just in Austin.  It is everywhere that you have a concentration of pedestrians and bicyclists.  College towns are especially bad, and many campuses are difficult to drive through because of the problem.  The college kids don't seem to even know the "stop and look both ways" rules... and they act like there are no traffic laws...

          •  Buffalo (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Where they are frequently riding in the middle of the lane straight at me.  I usually loop into the oncoming traffic lane in order to avoid them but there are often times when that is not even close to being an option.  At those times it frequently becomes a game of chicken where I am having to slam on my brakes in order to avoid hitting the person.

            There was once when I had stopped almost 100 feet in front of the cyclist and he ran into the front of my stopped in the road vehicle due to the fact that there was a bicycle coming directly at me and full line of cars in the oncoming lane.  Apparently the bicyclist figured it was easier for the car to swing to the side of the road and onto the sidewalk to avoid him from a stopped position than it was for him to leave the top dead center of the lane and give room so that both of us could get around each other safely.

            A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

            by Tempus Figits on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:54:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are saying that cyclists in Buffalo (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              frequently ride in the middle of the lane, going the wrong way in traffic? So that you're driving along, and all of a sudden a cyclist is coming right at you in your lane? That's insane.  

              It's hard for me to believe this is common cyclist behavior, merely because something like that is Darwin Award material. Cyclists couldn't make a habit of something so dangerous because they'd all be mowed down.

      •  "..when I didn't have access to a motor vehicle. " (3+ / 0-)

        A neighbor accused me of being a drunk and having lost my drivers' license because I don't own a car.  Cause, ya know, everyone drives a car.

        Sold it in about 1974.

        "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

        by jestbill on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:05:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  OTOH the pedestrian in walk-vs-vehicle ALWAYS (2+ / 0-)


      So stopping people from running against lights or mid-block crossing enhances those folks' survival chances. I'm just sayin'....the world is full of SUV drivers with cellphones. Far more murderous, IMNVHO, than -- oh, the average hillbilly with a rifle or shotgun or three.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:54:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too many people (11+ / 0-)

    Both drivers and pedestrians have no situational awareness.

    Too busy doing something other than paying attention.

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:02:43 AM PST

    •  Yep (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, rocksout, thanatokephaloides

      texting pedestrian walks in front of texting driver.

      The Austin, Texas incident is not like that, though. Police misconduct, for sure. The police chief even admitted that she was lucky the cops didn't sexually abuse her, because he would have.

      A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

      by onionjim on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:22:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's NOT what he said, and claiming it is (0+ / 0-)

        makes you dishonest, onionjim.

        He said he was glad she had not been sexually abused by the arresting officers. He mentioned that in other jurisdictions women have been sexually abused in the course of arrest, and he was glad that his officers did not behave so badly.

        Quite frankly, she wasn’t charged with resisting and she’s lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer because I wouldn’t have been as generous,” he said.
        Her behavior could have been interpreted as resisting arrest, since she screamed and flailed and swore and then went limp.
        Even the student who filmed it later said she "handled it poorly."
        Officers assigned to neighborhoods west and north of UT had fielded complaints about people not following pedestrian laws near the campus. Officers patrolled the area Thursday, issuing seven citations and 28 warnings. Acevedo said those assignments are designed to change behavior and “not necessarily” to issue citations or take people to jail.
        He noted that 96 pedestrians have been killed and 1,757 injured in collisions with cars since 2009, not including a woman struck by a bus Friday on campus.
        The pedestrian is often at fault, Acevedo said.
        Last but not least: his remarks on why he was thankful this was the controvesy:
        “Thank you, Lord, that it is a controversy in Austin, Texas,” Acevedo said Friday. “That we actually have the audacity to touch somebody by the arm and tell them, ‘Oh, my goodness, Austin police, we’re trying to get your attention.’ ”
        His officers could easily have acted a lot more like, say, Oakland or El Paso cops. They didn't, and good on them for being sensible and restrained in responding to the jogger's hysteria.

        Yes. There. I said it. But you know what? I'm female, and I'm an ex-cop, and I would have charged her with resisting. Had she landed a kick or a punch I'd've charged her with assaulting an officer, too.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:35:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess they could not possibly have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chrisculpepper, aratinga

          just let her run along. Pedestrian at fault is only a point to show that the law is at fault. Here in Vt, you will get a ticket for not stopping for pedestrians. In my opinion, pedestrians have the right of way. There, I said it.

          We have signs on the Interstate that clearly indicate the fact that this rule is suspended.

          My girlfriend runs 8-10 mi a day. She skied in the Olympics two times, Lilliput and Calgary. Kristen Bills.

          Now, she does not carry a wallet, ID, money, or phone. She has had a few close calls and had to dive headlong into the ditch to avoid being hit.

          I call on the police and everyone to strengthen driver awareness on sharing our roadways and courtesy.

          A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

          by onionjim on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:59:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  But IT'S THE LAW. At least quite a few (12+ / 0-)

    commenters in the previous diary thought that fact justified the arrest.  I sometimes wonder at DK readers.  Is there a glitch that stops their brains from using common sense in certain situations?  I was truly blown away by how many people were ready to go "meh" about that diary since the woman had BROKEN THE LAW.

    •  That's why I love the fourth panel of this toon (9+ / 0-)

      The law isn't applied fairly and evenly. Or in the case of the woman in Texas with even the bare minimum of common sense.

      Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

      by ontheleftcoast on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:13:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. A law designed to penalize those with no (7+ / 0-)

      The 'papers please' law is working as intended. It's designed to make those without ready access to documentation criminals. Generally that includes homeless people, very poor people and undocumented people.

      Fitness buffs also fall into the category, but it took special effort on the part of the cops in this case to make an issue of it.

      Maybe we can use this as a way to show folks how unjust laws target certain groups more than other. Like voter ID laws for example.

      I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

      by mungley on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:15:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm curious. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Somebody breaks a minor but ticketable law. They aren't carrying any ID. They are stopped. They give your name, because they happen to know it. A ticket is issued in your name, that you don't know about. You don't pay this ticket, because you are not psychic.

        30,60,90 days later, a bench warrant is issued on the unpaid ticket. You are pulled over for, i dunno, a bad brake light. You are immediately arrested on the warrant and your car is impounded.

        How is this a better answer?

        •  You left out a few steps in your scenario (0+ / 0-)

          Why if the officer is issuing a ticket in what he thinks to be your name, would he not present you with the ticket?

          You can't be charged with a crime without being informed thereof.

          So, your scenario is silly. It's not a better answer, it's illegal and unlikely.

          I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

          by mungley on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:47:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's not silly... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's spot-on.  

            The officer presented to the person using that name and birthday, a ticket.  Without official ID and a picture, the officer has zero way of knowing that the person using that name and birthday is not who they claim to be.

            You will be arrested and you will go to jail in the above scenario.  It will eventually be dismissed obviously- but it will take time and ruin more than a few of your days.

            This is an extremely common scenario when people have warrants out against them, and sometimes even when they don't (they may just think they do, or they don't want to appear for court or... whatever reason).   An officer asks them for ID, they have none, so he/she asks for their name and birthday. The person gives him the name and birthday of their friend, or brother, or sister, or someone they know who has no warrants.  The officer writes the citation to the person whose name and birthday were given.  

            The best and most sure way for officers to identify and cite the correct person, is to show official picture ID.

            You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

            by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:01:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  When all you have is a hammer, everything looks (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              like a nail.
              If you can't even envision a way to solve the 'crime' of not carrying ID without arresting someone than you have a very poor imagination.

              Laws designed to abuse people are not actually beneficial to society.

              Seeing as how homeless people are constantly running afoul of the law, and being sent before judges, and sent to jail even without ID, your premise that only papers count as identification if false.

              I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

              by mungley on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:18:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I concur in part. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mungley, JerryNA, thanatokephaloides

                On one hand, it is important that if a ticket is issued, it should not be issued against the wrong person, and requiring ID is one way to do it.

                On the other hand, system can/should be changed to deal with the fact that people are not going to go around carrying ID all the time.

                One possibility is that if an individual committed some minor crime (that general just involve ticketing) without an ID. Police should take a photo for identification and file it with the ticket. If paranoid, add fingerprints (perhaps just thumb-prints, which should be easy enough to get on the spot).

            •  You're in favor of "show me your papers, please"? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mungley, Hayate Yagami, JerryNA

              There is, as of yet, no law that states that one must have govt issued identification.  I hope never to see the day that there is.  

              "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

              by blackhand on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:22:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure where you are, but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1, thanatokephaloides

              Chicago police would rather not lock up the wrong person, and can't issue a ticket to someone without a valid picture ID.  A physical arrest is supposed to be made, whether for driving with no license, spitting on the sideway, disorderly conduct, etc.
              For the very reasons you mentioned.

            •  I don't know about that. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I don't know if this is the way everywhere, but all cop cars I have seen recently have computers in them.  When they get your info, they go into their car and enter it into the computer.  If the name given has a driver's license their picture will come up.  So it seems unlikely someone would really be able to get away with using a false name if the cop is doing his due diligence.  But that is all beside the point, as it is ridiculous for the cop to not use some common sense judgment in this case; I doubt there is anyone in America that has never jay-walked.  Only write the ticket if they were actually causing a dangerous situation.  Otherwise they ought to have more important things to spend time on.

            •  No. (0+ / 0-)

              When a person can be arrested & charged with a criminal offense simply for not carrying identification, this is a violation of that person's fundamental rights. Effectively, the ID becomes an internal passport.

          •  Ever heard of "false arrest"? It might not be all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that common around your part of the Country.  But, it does exist.  And, most often, it is part of the current trend towards "profiling" - especially with Blacks and Latinos.

            Of course, down in the swamps of Florida,, the really old crime of "walking, riding, being Black in a white neighborhood" is still punishable by the "death penalty" - administered by whatever Vigilante Judge, Jury, and Executioner needs to "prove" his . . . whatever.  So, "false arrest" isn't really necessary anyway.

        •  It's a better answer because (4+ / 0-)

          "papers please" laws are the antithesis of what Americans stand for. Down that road lies fascism. Requiring me to carry ID is not an inconvenience; it's a way to control me. Think it through. Can you imagine ways in which ID laws can be abused to discriminate, harrass, etc.?

  •  You know who else walks everywhere? (12+ / 0-)


    Can't trust zombies pedestrians.    

    Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year.

    by koosah on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:06:55 AM PST

  •  Bicycles on the road get the same disrespect. (10+ / 0-)

    And don't give me the "bikes break the law" nonsense since 99% drivers break the law when they go over the speed limit.

    •  running red lights is faaaaaaar more dangerous (5+ / 0-)

      than going 5-10 mph over the speed limit

      •  Traffic stats will probably dispute that. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, mungley, Cardinal Fang
        •  Well, from a pedestrian standpoint, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mungley, thanatokephaloides

          I referenced an article in the prior diary on this subject that a Seattle study found jaywalkers were not a problem - older folks and those with handicaps impairing their mobility were the segments most involved in pedestrian accidents - regardless of whether they were using crossing lanes or not.

          Cars have been given ownership of many modern cities and towns, with pedestrians being second thoughts in such designs.  So, anyone who potentially slows the anticipation of flow is more likely to become a victim of the expectations given to drivers by traffic flow.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:37:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Running red lights causes more accidents (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, thanatokephaloides

          than speeding does. It's hard to image anyone thinking otherwise.

          •  Drivers run red lights all the time (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eagles92, Yoshimi, thanatokephaloides

            If I stand at a busy traffic light at rush hour I'll see drivers run red lights. The light will turn red, and they'll still continue through it.  And that happens every light cycle, with one or two cars. So don't pretend that running red lights is something only cyclists do.

            •  I don't recall pretending that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, thanatokephaloides

              To repeat: "Running red lights causes more accidents than speeding does. It's hard to image (sic) anyone thinking otherwise." Nope. No mention of cyclists or drivers in those sentences.

              •  More people speed than run red lights. (0+ / 0-)

                The stats are on my side - more people have accidents from speeding than running red lights.

                •  More people die at home... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  than die in auto accidents.  The simple fact is that every time a person drives 5 or so mph over the speed limit is not even close to the risk factor that running a red light, even in the middle of the night when there are fewer cars on the road.

                  You are trying to equate 5-10 mph over to the same risk factor as 30+ over the speed limit in a specious attempt to conflate and obfuscate that dangerous behavior by pedestrians and bicyclists is in some way excusable because some others exhibit dangerous behaviors and that all run equivalent risks to harming the self or others.

                  Try driving here in Buffalo sometime.  Just pick a day not during the winter.  If anyone tries to tell me again that Buffalonians know how to drive in winter conditions again, I will laugh in their faces.

                  A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

                  by Tempus Figits on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:19:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Not on this one. (0+ / 0-)

          It is far more dangerous to run a red light, whether in a motor vehicle, self powered vehicle or simply walking than going 5-10 mph over the speed limit.  Going 30+ or so would probably be a viable argument but it still would be close to the stupidity of running a red light.  Especially since sight lines at intersections is often blocked by buildings, fences, hedges and parked vehicles.

          A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

          by Tempus Figits on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:08:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a cyclist (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, JeffW, thanatokephaloides

      but I see far too many people riding on sidewalks, riding against traffic and whizzing through intersections against traffic signals. Where I live, at least, cyclists have to obey the rules that drivers do. Many cyclists don't come close.

      Sharing the road with multiple ton vehicles is dangerous. I advise caution and patience. Being a scofflaw on a bike is slightly more of a risk.

  •  Another look at this (4+ / 0-)

    My mother of 87 hit a man in Phoenix attempting to cross the street where there was no crosswalk.  She called me after it happened and said: "I didn't even know I hit him until I saw an orange hat go by the window".  Yes, she had a slow reaction time because of her age, but she was still driving with a legal license.  The guy went to the hospital and was severely injured.  My mom was not cited.

    But, she never forgot that.  It bothered her to no end.  She even called the hospital to see how the man was doing.  Come to find out, he was legally intoxicated.  That did not make her feel any better.  

    Point, sometimes it's a GOOD thing to enforce even the smallest of laws.  There is more than one side to every issue.

    •  Call me crazy but I smell a rat in this story (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      From the commenter who pines for the "good ole days" of the South something about this comment doesn't ring true.

      Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

      by ontheleftcoast on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:19:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A driver is responsible for (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mungley, thanatokephaloides

        everything in front of them. A child. A drunk. A skunk. If she hit a person its her fault, not the person's. That's the way the law is. Exceptions are made in the case of wealthy Wall St. drunks, however, if you recall the story.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:28:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  onionjim (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          saucer1234, thanatokephaloides

          I always think about Abe Simpson putting onions on his belt, because that was the style back in his day.  

          At least, that's what I think about whenever I see your name by a comment.  


          by otto on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:33:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That is not correct... (5+ / 0-)

          When you are a pedestrian in a roadway you have to follow the same laws as a vehicle in a roadway, same goes for bicycles.

          My father hit a jogger once.  The guy had his headphones on and wasn't paying a damn bit of attention to what was going on around him. My dad slowed down to 15 MPH in a 45 zone and was in the process of moving over to the other side of the road when, out of nowhere and without looking over his shoulder, the jogger darted out in front of him. My dad hit him and it almost killed the jogger.  The jogger was entirely at fault- the same way a vehicle would be at fault if it merged into another lane without looking and hit, or was hit by, another vehicle. The only difference between the two is- a vehicle is more resilient to being hit by another vehicle than a human body is.

          When a pedestrian jaywalks and is hit by a car, it is the pedestrian's fault, the same way it would be if a car ran a red light and then hit, or was hit by, another car.  

          I am all for walking, jogging, biking, skateboarding, etc... but understand that a car can't stop on a dime... it's a little thing called physics.  

          You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

          by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:51:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This reminds me of one of the very few lessons (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that I recall from drivers training several decades ago.  It was a case where a driver hit and killed a child that ran out into the road.  In the case, the driver was going 27 mph in a 25 mph zone and this resulted in them being liable for vehicular manslaughter.  The point was drilled into us that had the driver been going 25 mph or less, they would not have been liable.  Breaking the speed limit law made all of the difference.

            "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

            by blackhand on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:26:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  That may be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but I was taught and will maintain to this day, that alertness includes being aware of both the road and anything near it. If you're going too fast to stop for a child chasing a ball, then you are at fault, in my mind.

            Please, y'all if you are behind a jogger with headphones, give a toot to wake them up. Its not that hard. The same with kids, if they are playing in or near the roadway, the horn can make a big difference.

            A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

            by onionjim on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:07:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's not how the law saw it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Sorry, but that's just not a good reply here.  It's not accurate.  The law didn't say that about my mom, so I can say that with certainty.

        •  Determining fault is a little more complicated (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Hitting a pedestrian while they are breaking the law is going to mitigate a driver's resposibility. Drivers do have a responsibity to be alert, but there is a difference between striking someone in a crosswalk and someone who pops out from behind a car in mid-street.

      •  Think again (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TakeSake, thanatokephaloides

        My mother moved to Phoenix years ago for health reasons.  Not sure why you want to just question something that you know nothing about.  But, I guess that is your right and it "rings" true for whatever purpose you want it to.  

        But, I do understand that there has to be negatives posted on things like this here.  I see it a lot on this site.

  •  So your point is that people with no ID on them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dawgflyer13, thanatokephaloides

    should be exempt from the law?

    How do you write a ticket to someone if you can't confirm ID? How many people are going to give their real name?
    What happens when somebody gives your name, you never pay the ticket because you never had any idea that your name was given, and suddenly there's a warrant?

    The law ALSO applies to people we like. Why is this so difficult to understand?

    •  The police have ample resources (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, thanatokephaloides

      And, if that situation happened, it would be a headache for the person who was impersonated, but this happens all over the place, so it's not uncommon. People impersonate others all the time, for a variety of reasons.  


      Rusty Shackelford


      by otto on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:31:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, and exactly what resources would (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        they have used in this situation?

        You can get animals addicted to a harmful substance, you can dissect their brains, but you throw their own feces back at them, and suddenly you're unprofessional. -Amy Farrah Fowler/The Big Bang Theory -7.50, -5.03

        by dawgflyer13 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:52:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I once had my license missing when a (4+ / 0-)

          police checkpoint was setup on a usual route to shopping.  Turns out I left my wallet at home, by accident (i.e., in a different jacket).

          I was a bit flustered and gave my personal information, which they looked it up in their car - my picture was in their digital DMV records.  They told me to go back and get it before driving elsewhere, and I was free to go.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:45:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

      La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.

      In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.

      Isn't it great the law treats everyone the same?

      Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

      by ontheleftcoast on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:59:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a similar vein, Antonin Scalia said (0+ / 0-)

        . . . that laws restricting marriage to one man & one woman weren't at all discriminatory, because homosexuals were just a free to marry a person of the opposite sex as heterosexuals.

    •  Which law? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, mungley, thanatokephaloides, Nattiq

      Lack of ID should not be against the law. That should be apparent to anyone with an understanding of what America stands for. A jaywalker can be ticketed without ID. Any inconveniece (to a third party) which ensues is prefereble to throwing away what makes this country a great place to live.

      •  Um... I won't consider a country a "great place to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        live" if a random a**hole can get you in trouble by lying to the police.

        That said, there're a LOT of ways to deal with lack of ID without being so heavy handed. As stated before, with our technology, a police can just type the information into their in-car computer and verify the information (with pictures).

        Without said computer, a police can also take your picture and maybe thumb-prints (finger-prints are probably way too much hassle) for later verification.

    •  Most people will give their correct information (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eagles92, thanatokephaloides

      I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

      by mungley on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:14:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm happy you're paper trained (0+ / 0-)

      I choose not to be.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:34:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Carry Your Papers (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, a copy of the traffic code. You'll need it.

    And read up on your Ray Bradbury. After all, in the future, just walking will be illegal.

  •  We need, right to walk laws. And separation of (7+ / 0-)

    cars and people highways.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:18:08 AM PST

    •  Don't we already have that right now? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Roadway for cars, sidewalks for people. Crossings for where people/car intersect?

    •  Sigh. One of the many reasons this traffic... (3+ / 0-) has so much gray hair after 27 years in the profession.

      Norman Bel Geddes had it right with his City of 1960 Futurama exhibit at the 1939 Worlds Fair: physically separate the road and sidewalk. Problem is, then you have to completely rebuild the city, which was the whole idea behind the City of 1960. Buildings require unloading areas off the street, plus bus turnouts, and every building having a huge parking garage. Raising the streets in Chicago in the late 19th Century was a cakewalk compared to this!

      Back to the present, when we modernized signals, adding pedestrian signals, and even later when countdown signals were added, we ultimately ended up having to go out and measure the crosswalks, because the flashing "Don't Walk" time was usually inadequate. Sometimes more seniors were crossing at an intersection, so we had to recalculate the flash time, using 3.5 feet/second, or even 3 feet/second. I had a senior advocate argue with me that we should be using 2.5 or even 2 feet/second! I argued a similar point when I was just a noob, and had observed many seniors at the intersection when I was surveying it for the improvement, but my supervisor said "Nothing doing! Use 4 feet/second." Other times, the cure radii were rebuilt, changing the crosswalk length, and nobody told us.

      Any wonder why I want to move out to the farm, far from any traffic signals?

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:41:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for fighting the good fight. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thanatokephaloides, JeffW

        Everyone wonders why the 80yo was hit by a bus in China Town Honolulu. Go there and walk. There is a bus zoom lane a curb and the sidewalk. The street is as wide as it needs to be for the bus and then bam sidewalk.

        Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

        by 88kathy on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:09:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Love some Slowpoke (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks, Jen!

    Although, a few years ago I was standing at a busy crosswalk with my child in a stroller.  My wife and I were waiting to cross the street at a marked crosswalk.  

    Cars zoomed by.  

    Eventually, a cop car followed one of them.  I just waved my arms at the cop, and pointed to the most recent car to speed past us.  

    Lights.  Ticket.  

    I don't want that person to get a ticket, but if it makes them stop at crosswalks from now on...


    by otto on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:21:28 AM PST

  •  And here we go again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, thanatokephaloides

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:37:32 AM PST

  •  Crossing in the middle of the street is dangerous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm with you except for that.  Is it really that hard to walk to a crosswalk?  Pedestrians should follow the rules too.

  •  I'd be a lot more sympathetic to things like this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blackhand, thanatokephaloides

    If pedestrians would stop
    - jaywalking in the middle of the night around a curve with black clothing
    - crossing the street just as my light turns green
    - jaywalking across a very busy 6-lane road with 3 small children in tow
    - stepping into the road right before I go by them

    Drivers do tons of crazy stuff too, but road safety is a 2-way street (pun so very intended)

    •  Add to the list (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      walking or riding a bike on the wrong side of, or even in the middle of the damned road, including in the turning lanes.

      When it comes to bikes, I get especially irritated when they ride them at night, with no lights, no reflectors, and wear dark clothing.  It is an accident waiting to happen.

      When I was a child, I was told that I was not allowed to ride my bike at night, even when I wanted to, because it was illegal to do so without a light and reflectors.  Now, as a driving adult, I understand why.

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:30:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did any of those tings happened in the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eagles92, thanatokephaloides

      case in question?

      I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

      by mungley on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:16:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Expose the authorized sadism of Austin's police (3+ / 0-)

    Maybe a depiction of Austin's police uniforms could feature leather leggings over bare legs and leather muscle shirts, exposed hairy chests, and whips and chains, plus leather executioner masks with the anarchist "A" for Austin on them.  Driving home the point that Austin's police are running wild.  Have been for years now.

    I live in Austin too and have been embarrassed for 35 years now how Austin police have the run of the place.  They repeatedly get away with murder.  They taze helpless people to death.  They bully people mercilessly because they can get away with that too.  The woman crossing the street is lucky she didn't get shocked by more than the cops' ruthless adventurism and probably sexism.  Your cartoon captures the absurdity of that episode perfectly.

    I'd like to see you take on the utter cruelty of the police in your graphic work, using facial expressions and other means of showing the brutal violence, large and small, used on people singled out by police for sadistic treatment.  That's what it is, pure and simple, authorized sadism.  The racial component, and now gender component, have long been obvious.  Maybe a series of graphic pieces.

    Oblivion is for the oblivious.

    by Larry Piltz on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:04:30 AM PST

    •  Used to be only despairing, now enraged (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, slatsg

      I used to be only despairing about Austin's reflexive police brutality.  I've gradually become enraged.  I admire the man who began a campaign of filming Austin police at work, exposing the cruelties and the illegalities of their daily operation.  I'm willing to support a larger campaign and movement to neuter (Yes, Neuter) the institutional law enforcement cruelty that Austin's classism and racism has nurtured and still approves of.  Reform needs to happen, starting at the top with the chief being the 'chief' enabler and apologist.  He may do a good job in other ways, but the sadism has metastasized under his watch.  Sorry, Art, but you either need to turn this abuse supertanker around NOW, or resign with a mea culpa and commitment to end the abuses you've been enabling.  You'd become a hero to everyone else who already doesn't admire the other good police work you do.  And your current supporters would certainly welcome your efforts.

      Oblivion is for the oblivious.

      by Larry Piltz on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:14:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I lived in Chicago, back before the days of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TakeSake, thanatokephaloides

    "right on red" I would intentionally cross the street at a crosswalk but against the light unless traffic was too heavy to allow me to cross.

    My reasoning was that this way I could watch for cars coming from my left and right and avoid them.  

    But when I followed the rules and crossed with the light, many times I'd almost get hit by a driver making a right turn from behind me where I couldn't see them.

  •  For some crazy reason or other, the automobiles (4+ / 0-)

    out in Reno, Nevada, actually STOP for pedestrians crossing the street.  I wonder why?

  •  This is something conservatives and liberals... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    can agree on.

    This is the police padding their pension funds.

    $197?? Give me a break!

    Pay your ticket at the courthouse and your receipt will show you how your money is going into a dozen different pots.

    A lot of it goes into accounts that are only shown in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR.) The CAFR a second set of books that every city, county, water authority, university and state keeps.

    The 50,000 CAFR accounts contain many TRILLIONS of dollars.

    Go to your local library and ask for your city or county's CAFR if you don't believe this. My small, poor county has over $100 million dollars in it.

  •  I'm sorry, but I respectfully disagree... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jsdowd, Officer Rex Bishop

    Point by point:

    -- Crosswalks too far away:  I've lived in places that are "pedestrian unfriendly", and I hate having to walk stupid distances to get to a crosswalk when I just want to get across the street.  But I have never seen my own convenience as justification for darting through traffic.  If the road is empty, I'll go straight across, but there are any cars at all, I'll trek to the crosswalk.

    -- Blinking "DONT WALK" signs:  They mean what they say.  I don't see what the issue is here. "Even if no cars are coming" -- yeah, you think no cars are coming.  Maybe you're wrong.  Maybe you weren't paying as much attention as you thought.  Play it safe, and wait for "WALK".  I don't think waiting the extra three minutes is going to kill you.  Again, the message appears to be that some laws should only be enforced when they're convenient.  (Oh and the fine for people entering "seconds" after the sign started blinking?  Two seconds is plenty of time to recognize that the sign had changed.  If you said "a split second", I'd be with you.)

    -- Cars not stopping at crosswalks:  When are cars expected to stop at a crosswalk?  Either the crosswalk is at an intersection, in which case there is a stop sign or traffic light, or it's not, in which case cars are expected to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.  In the illustration, the pedestrian is standing on the curb, so unless that car ran a red light, it's done nothing wrong.

    Remember, drivers are people too.  When I drive, I try to be considerate of pedestrians, and when I walk, I try to be considerate of drivers.  That generally means crossing where drivers expect to see me and waiting my turn to be on the road.  I have driven through cities where crowds of pedestrians hold up traffic because they think the whole crowd has the right to cross when the light changes, regardless of whether or not there's enough time to get them across.

    TL;DR:  Yes, the world at times can be very unfriendly to pedestrians.  But you're not doing the world or yourself any favors if you ignore a law just because it inconveniences you.


  •  Ugh... (2+ / 0-)

    The Austin jogger was not arrested/detained for failing to produce I.D. (as in, she didn't have a license on her).  She was arrested because she was stopped for jaywalking and refused to identify herself.  In Texas (and many other States), an officer making a "stop" (i.e. has a valid reason to detain you) shall request you identify yourself by name and address.  She refused, attempted to leave, and was arrested.

    The kicker is that it was many residents and businesses along that area that requested the police action because there were several incidences of peds being hurt due to jaywalking and drivers not yielding in xwalks. The officers and security personel were issuing warnings for the most part, mostly to drivers.  This one woman thought interacting with police was beneath her, refused to comply with lawful requests, threw a major hissy fit, and was arrested.  So jogging hipsters... quitcherbitcin

  •  Pedestrians and cyclists are KILLED every week in (3+ / 0-)

    San Francisco because of rampant bad driving behavior, on top of terrible street design, on top of some flagrantly stupid bike and pedestrian behavior. Folks are concerned but clearly it's going to take years before things improve much.

  •  Jogging without an ID? (4+ / 0-)

    Wow.  We don't even ticket for that in CHICAGO.


    •  From what VerbalK was saying. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And from the updated article linked by the original post. The Austin case wasn't that the woman wasn't carrying ID. The charge was the the woman didn't identify herself (as in, she refused to give her name when asked).

      I'm pretty sure that's a no-no in most places.

  •  Quotas (4+ / 0-)

    In many places, police have quotas to fill.

    If it is easier to write a few jaywalking tickets, many policemen will do so.

    In many places, the average pedestrian is less wealthy and influential than the average driver, and thus less likely to fight the ticket or create a problem with police higher ups or politicians.

    Change the incentives if you wish to change the priorities of the policemen.

  •  Nice, again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jen Sorensen, thanatokephaloides

    As someone who is glad not to have a car, I appreciate a comic like this. I have to admit I like my silly jaywalking ways (on side streets of course--and especially when crosswalks are a bit flooded or icy) but I think there are some clear common sense rules and ways to let things slide.

    I'm lucky never to have this happen & it seems like the sort of thing that never would. But what's really awful about his is, it encourages people to use more gas when they don't need to.

  •  It's a revenue stream for the city (3+ / 0-)

    Same as exorbitant parking fines.  LA has gotten particularly bad with these ridiculously high fees.

    Safety is not the concern here.  It's a source of funds for the city.

    It basically turns police officers into glorified tax collectors/metermaids.  If the jaywalker is not causing a problem or a danger, good cops don't bother themselves with it.  They've got other things on their minds.  Bad cops jump all over it any opportunity they get.

    What was wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

    by gila on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:34:03 AM PST

  •  during my daily run about 15 years ago, (3+ / 0-)

    i ran through a red light and "don't walk" in redondo beach, ca because i didn't want to stop and jog in place and, besides, there were no cars in that direction. there was, however, one of rb's finest coming up behind me, who witnessed my transgression.

    he gave his siren a quick shot, stopped a little ahead of me, and used his loudspeaker to let me know that i was the object of his attention.

    he asked politely for an id, which i didn't have (one should carry id and insurance card when out running, i suppose). but i did have my driver license number in memory, which sufficed for him to check wants and warrants or whatever they check for. he wrote me a ticket, $78 if i remember correctly, wished me a good rest-of-run, and departed.

    i paid the ticket (i think i still have it, somewhere) and quit running through red lights.

    it wasn't that difficult.

    The NRA is a terrorist organization.

    by one you can live with on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00:45 AM PST

  •  I commiserate, but I've also driven a taxi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Downtown Denver is not a safe place to be driving at night. The majority of pedestrians are drunk and dangerous in their jaywalking.  Oddly, DU Campus during the daytime is not a problem, they act like mature adults, but when they hit LoDo on Friday night it's as if downtown has been transformed into some fantastic playground where people can do anything and not get hurt.

    You will not rest, settle for less • Until you guzzle and squander whats left • Do not deny that you live and let die - MUSE

    by bondibox on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:01:48 AM PST

  •  sup carsplainers (nt) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq, Urban Space Cowboy

    warning: snark probably above

    by NE2 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:56:49 AM PST

  •  Lawlessness! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, birdboy2000

    Here in the lawless wilderness of Massachusetts, the fine in Boston for jaywalking is $1.  As you can imagine, that offense goes unprosecuted.

    Consequently, we have mayhem in the streets, dogs and cats living together, total chaos!

    ($200 fine for effing jaywalking?  If we had that here, the Big Dig would have been paid for in six months.)

  •  Thanks for the link to the Austin jaywalking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diary.  I read it and had intended to post a comment about South African apartheid laws requiring blacks to have their ID papers on their persons at all times.  Not a huge leap, imo, from South Africa to Austin.  Austin! of all places.

    The LAPD's ticketing you describe is another example of bureaucrats enforcing the law by going after the innocuous low-hanging fruit and avoiding having their fee fees hurt.  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:38:36 AM PST

  •  So should there be no laws for pedestrians? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, a gilas girl

    Should they be able to cross anywhere, any time?

    I get the impression that pedestrians and bicyclists in Seattle have no respect for traffic laws.  It is simply not safe.  I have stopped shopping on Broadway because I'm tired of never being able to take a right turn without fearing a pedestrian or bicyclist will waltz or glide through the blinking red hand.  Sorry, Capitol Hill businesses.  Take it up with the idiot on the Schwinn.

  •  Fines for killing pedestrians in Wisconsin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    The flip side of this is a hot topic in the Wisconsin pedestrian and bicycling communities right now. I'm a runner so, especially this time of the year with many rec trails being converted to snowmobile trails instead of being plowed, I spend a lot of time sharing roads with cars.

    In Wisconsin, when drivers kill pedestrians or bicyclists, they tend to get slapped with nothing but a traffic citation that amounts to hundreds of dollars. In some cases, as low as $125. For killing someone. Even if the driver admits to being in the wrong.

    Fortunately, I haven't been caught for "jaywalking" even though I frequently do, largely because I feel taking my safety into my own hands is safer than relying on laws that aren't followed or enforced. I've been hit by cars 3 times. All 3, I was in the crosswalk or on a sidewalk and had the right of way (a walk signal or I was hit by a car that didn't stop at a stop sign). In all of these cases, the drivers were making what I call a "look left, turn right" maneuver. Frequent pedestrians are very familiar with these moves. The driver rolls through a stop sign or red light, with no intention of slowing down more than necessary to make the turn, and doesn't even look forward while making the turn. In none of these instances did the drivers get so much as a failure to yield citation. Once, I was threatened with a disrupting traffic citation until I reminded the officer that I had the right of way and dropped the name of a friend of mine who is a supervisor at the police department. So I don't use crosswalks unless I can see there is no traffic around. I find it far safer to cross in the middle of a block when I can see there are no cars in the vicinity and rely on myself for my safety. I've often thought about what I would do if I got stopped for jaywalking. It's the one situation I could think of where, if I spoke, I'd probably just dig myself a hole because I'd start asking how using crosswalks would be safer with drivers ignoring basic right of way laws and police not enforcing them.

    For what it's worth, my friend who is a supervisor at the police department says you're better off taking your safety in your own hands and crossing mid-block where there are only two directions you have to worry about cars coming from.

  •  Making money for the city... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    ...maybe it's all the cops I've known, but I'm very, very cynical about this.

    It isn't about public safety.

    It isn't about following the rules.

    It's all about the $$$! Cities and states always like to raise money this way. It's easier than asking for a tax increase.

    Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

    by rbird on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:24:35 PM PST

  •  I don't know what it's been like for others (0+ / 0-)

    . . . by in my experience, to be a pedestrian is to feel hunted & loathed. In spite of the erosion of civil liberty in the U.S. & the steady chipping-away of our 4th amendment rights, police still need to have a pretext or probable cause in order to stop a car. But police feel no such compunction about randomly stopping pedestrians, as the recent controversy over "stop & frisk" policies would attest. Walking on the street, especially after dark, one has a much greater chance of getting stopped, questioned & frisked by police than any driver of a vehicle would. Voice one word of complaint about this sort of treatment - give any backtalk whatsoever - & one will be taken straight to jail on a charge of disorderly conduct. Sometimes just being outside at night is enough to make one a suspect in the eyes of police.

    I know because it happened to me. On 13 January 2012, about 8:45pm, I had just finished dinner & went on a walk in my neighborhood. About 5 blocks from my house, a police officer passed me going in the other direction, turned around & stopped me. Though I was doing nothing illegal & had been looking straight ahead minding my own business, the officer immediately proceeded to question me in a very hostile manner. "Who are you?" Where do you live?" Where are you going?" "What's in your backpack?" Though I was already nervous (with good reason), I gave answers that were truthful & (so I thought) satisfactory. "Get your hands out of your pockets", the officer loudly ordered, & I did do. "You got some ID?", he then demanded. I responded, "I'm just out walking. I wasn't aware that I needed one." At that moment, the officer charged toward me, slammed me to the ground next to the sidewalk & put me in handcuffs. "GET DOWN", he yelled repeatedly. "Why are you doing this to me?", I asked. "You resisted arrest", he responded. The officer called for back-up, & the 2 officers ran a warrants check on me, which came up clean. So they proceeded to write out citations for disorderly conduct & resisting arrest, then had me taken to jail.

    About 7 months later, the charges were dismissed by a judge. But I had to hire a lawyer, which cost me $2,500, & suffer the stress & humiliation of being jailed. Most people to whom I've told this story have concurred with me that this was outrageous & that my rights were clearly violated. But a few have said they felt no sympathy for me, because I had "brought this all on myself" by my failure to be submissive toward that police officer. Sad to see that mentality - the reflexive assumption that the person in authority is always in the right - voiced so frequently right here on DKos.

  •  Jaywalking (0+ / 0-)

    I hear that there's a sale on jackboots at Walmart.

  •  I realize this is not " the law", but... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm speaking from a strictly ethical perspective. Feet were walking this planet eons before petroleum parasite automobiles were spewing out their toxic gases. Walking is a right. Driving is a privilege, so pedestrians have the right of way, always, in every circumstance.  Even if your light is green, you stop for a pedestrian (or cyclist). If you're not operating your machine with due caution or attention  to stop in time, the accident's on you. Your PRIVILEGE rests upon your ability to exercise proper judgment.
    Same goes for yielding to cyclists. We're not the ones contributing to the environmental apocalypse, you gas guzzler, so show us the courtesy we deserve.
    I know, because of my good intentions and rightful convictions, I'll end up getting hit by a car. My only hope s that I'm killed quickly instead of seriously injured or permanently maimed.

  •  A friend of mine was killed last year (0+ / 0-)

    crossing on a walk signal in her wheelchair, with her little dog on her lap. The driver was making a perfectly legal right turn, except that there happened to be a pedestrian in the way. Judging by how far she was jammed under the car, he didn't slow down to check the crosswalk, or even see her before the collision.

    The police "investigated", as they do. But because "drugs and alcohol weren't a factor" and the driver cooperated, they didn't cite him. At all. Not even a ticket for failing to yield the right of way. Nothing. A woman (and her dog) is dead because she obeyed the law and he didn't, and that's somehow okay. Even the editor of our local paper wrote a piece describing it as a terrible, unavoidable, accident. The solution he offered is the one I was already going with, being in a wheelchair myself and nearly getting hit in that crosswalk half a dozen times a year: cross somewhere else.

    Which is good advice, but the walk signal is still there. It's like the world's worst practical joke.

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