If you happen to live in New York City, you may want to wait a little longer for that crossing light to pop up before trying to make it across the street. A new law being presented to the New York State Congress by lawmakers today states that anyone caught jaywalking within city limits will face extreme new charges, including fines and up to one full year in prison.
The decision was made after several years of studies on traffic accidents involving pedestrians, who in busy New York City will often rush through the city streets while texting, talking on phones, or just generally being ignorant of their surroundings. The city holds the record for the most jaywalking charges in the entire country, and the local government have been working closely with police to come up with a strict solution.
“You ever have a guy tell you to lick his bean bag because you gave him a jaywalking ticket?” said Officer Carl Brown of the NYPD. “I honestly love the idea of a person going to jail for jaywalking. Maybe it will show them some patience. People forget how big New York is, and how many people are in it. I’ve seen people get hit by cars while jaywalking, and if they just relaxed, took a second, and found a damn crosswalk, they’d have been fine. Once the law is in effect, I can’t wait to slap the cuffs on some idiot for crossing the street illegally.”
The law will start at an as-yet-undecided date in 2015, as officials work out final details. The city says that they fear if they began citing individuals for violating the law without warning, more than 90% of the city would be behind bars. Police officers are currently being briefed on the law in anticipation of the changes.
“We’re super excited for this to happen,” said Officer Brown. “I’m chomping at the bit to lock up some of these hardcore criminals.”