Look out downtown shoppers- the LAPD is staging an intense crackdown on jaywalkers in the downtown Financial District and Historic Core area.
A ticket will cost you $190 to $250, and that isn't just walking across a red light; all you need to do is step off the curb while the countdown clock is ticking down.
According to California Vehicle Code 21456, pedestrians can't walk if there's a "Don't Walk" sign or an upraised hand symbol. Anyone who has started crossing after one of those flashes should proceed to a sidewalk or safety zone.
The LAPD says it is in heavy enforcement mode because pedestrians are impeding traffic and causing accidents and even deaths. During the holiday season, more pedestrians come into the Downtown area and the traffic is even worse.
Since Jan. 1, 2013 there have been four pedestrian deaths and 129 vehicle-pedestrian accidents in the Downtown area.
The California's vehicle code is stricter on pedestrians than many other states. So walkers beware! For those who need a refresher course, Central Division has posted pedestrian rules on its Facebook page, and spread the word through other social media formats.
But Downtown activists are pushing for a meeting with community members to explain the rules, and possibly save pedestrians a pricey punishment.
Besten is pushing for a community meeting where LAPD traffic representatives will answer questions. The session is still being planned, but authorities are looking to host it in the Historic Core in the near future, Besten said.
"Hopefully we can see more of an educational, outreach program," Besten said. "We have a lot of people visiting Downtown and we don't want their experience to include a $250 jaywalking ticket. That's hardly a light smack on the wrist."
For now, the only way to be certain to avoid a ticket is to cross on green, and to stay on the sidewalk when the countdown clock is ticking