public safety
2:16 pm
Tue November 1, 2011

Jaywalking Crackdown Reaps More Than 200 Citations So Far

Every dot on this map represents a location where at least three collisions have occurred between pedestrians and vehicles since 2008. For the purpose of this map, cyclists are counted as pedestrians. The data was compiled by the Austin Police Department and placed on a map by KUT News.

Austin police have issued more than 200 jaywalking citations as part of a two-week crackdown that runs through Saturday. APD’s Highway Enforcement Command says it launched the campaign because of a high number of pedestrian deaths: 17 so far this year, compared to 7 in 2010.

Between six and twelve cops on motorcycles were assigned to patrol high risk areas around the city. You can see those areas on the map above, which shows all the locations where at least three pedestrian-vehicle collisions have occurred since January 2008. 

Here’s the number of jaywalking tickets issued by motorcycle police since the crackdown started:

  • 232 citations 
  • 122 warnings 
  • 20 citations issued to cars that failed to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian

The fines for pedestrian infractions in Austin range from $97 for someone who crosses against a red light and pays the fine early, to $280 for someone caught walking on a roadway who doesn’t pay early.

APD says it worked with municipal court to establish a deferral program during the two-week crackdown so that some people could avoid paying the fine if they're not caught breaking the rules in the future. 

Here’s a map showing the locations where pedestrians have been killed in Austin since 2008. Locations are sometimes approximate because of how Google Maps places addresses.

Some observers have said the problem highlights a lack of pedestrian crossings in many parts of the city.  

“If the City really intends to enforce a ban on mid-block crossings of interior, arterial streets, it needs to give pedestrians a reasonable option [to cross],” Austin lawyer Chris Bradford wrote on his AustinContrarian blog, using South Lamar Boulevard as an example.