Austin Woman Arrested For Jaywalking and Austin Chief Responds To Outcry By Saying It Could Have Been Worse . . . Officers In Other Cities Would Add A Sexual Assault

0miw2Rochief-photoPeople in Austin were outraged recently when Amanda Jo Stephen was arrested for jaywalking – a crime that ultimately required four officers and left Stephen sitting cuffed and crying on the ground in front of onlookers. The video is below. However, it was the response of Austin police chief Art Acevedo made this even more bizarre and disturbing.

When people objected to the treatment this woman and over-reaction of his officers, Acevedo responded that “In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas.” At best, that sounds like a flippant dismissal of abuse and at worse almost sounded like Stephen was lucky to get away without a gang rape by officers.

Acevedo was inundated with calls and later apologized for the “poor analogy” and insisted that “I attempted to place the arrest into context by bringing attention to the fact that law enforcement deals with many acts of serious misconduct.”

The problem with the apology is that it still misses part of the problem. Putting aside the basis for this arrest, everyday and casual abuses are a major problem of police misconduct. This woman was left cuffed and sitting on the ground in public and then arrested and charged. Four officers participated in the arrest. Arbitrary and over-the-top police enforcement that creates fear of police and a sense of impunity for officers. Then when a chief of police shrugs it off as still better than a rape, it sends a chilling message to citizens and the wrong signal to officers. It is much much worse than a “poor analogy” in my view.

By the way, the original Acevedo interview contained other comments from the Chief in dismissing objections from cities. Stephen was charged with “failure to identify” and “failure to obey a pedestrian control device.” Acevedo says that his officers were merely trying to change the behavior of citizens and issued seven citations that day to reduce traffic deaths. He then noted that she was handcuffed after telling the officer not to touch her and “All that young lady had to do when she was asked for her information was to provide it by law. Instead of doing that, she decided to throw [herself] to the ground – officers didn’t sit her down – and she did the limp routine.” He indicated that she got off easy: “Thank you lord that it’s a controversy in Austin, Texas 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.’ Quite frankly, she wasn’t charged with resisting, and she was lucky I wasn’t the arresting officer because I wouldn’t have been quite as generous.” Generous. Well, it appears that she got the nice Austin officers. It seems that she should be counting her lucky stars that she was not raped by officers in other cities or ran into the Chief of Police as a jaywalker.

Source: Daily Texan

Kudos: DavidM

67 thoughts on “Austin Woman Arrested For Jaywalking and Austin Chief Responds To Outcry By Saying It Could Have Been Worse . . . Officers In Other Cities Would Add A Sexual Assault

  1. I have to admit I was surprised that the police officers did not commit a sexual assault. in fact, when I initially read the story I expected that very follow up account. Considering the flippant attitude of the police chief to rape it seems that such conduct would have been treated with the same “who cares attitude”. The behavior of police officers in this and other instances confirms the fear average humans have of the police. No longer can when feel safe in the presence of a police officer. A group of police officers can be positively terrifying. It seems that no matter how abusive and over the top a police officers behavior is, there is always an excuse. Citizens are now targets of criminals and the police who used to be there to protect them. It is a sad and sorry situation.

  2. “Acevedo says that his officers were merely trying to change the behavior of citizens and issued seven citations that day to reduce traffic deaths.”

    Saviors. Downright heroic.

  3. Imbecils

    This is exactly what I have been talking about for a while here and for years when I was with the department that stupid stuff like this jaywalking incident ends up mushrooming out of control. And the chief did his part with a personal stupid stuff statement about the rapes and look where it got him; made a laughing stock on a national level.

    The sad part of this incident was this woman ended up booked in jail because these officers let something chippy, such as a jaywalking violation, get out of hand.

    I have to agree with Professor Turley. How slow must a day be that 1) you have to arrest someone who is jaywalking and 2) four guys need to arrive to help out.

    Rookies around the world: Read this article and do the opposite of what you see the police doing here.

  4. The attitude of police chief Art Acevedo certainly flows down through his department creating this gestapo style police force that now exists. He needs to go. Whatever happened to the motto protect and serve? He asserts that they issued seven citations that day to reduce traffic deaths? Is he making this up, or is there actual traffic data showing how many deaths in that area were caused by jaywalking.

    When I see stuff like this, it tells me the police force has too much money and too much time on their hands.

  5. David

    First, thank you for bringing this artricle to everyone’s attention earlier. I have to wonder if at some point this chief went home, unbuckled his equipment belt, removed his vest, then laid back on his bed and thought…

    Why couldn’t those fools just gave her a warning?

    It is times like this when a police administrator or the arresting officer needs to do some serious personal reflection on what just happened. There is no sense in going down paths that led to these types of outcomes. Hopefully they will learn the value of not doing things like this again.

    Maybe this woman can get a dismissal of the charges.

  6. Oh, and I forgot to add one thing.

    In police culture Jaywalking is considered the stereotypical stupid law that no real cop would ever write someone for. Phrases such as “He’d write his own mother for jaywalking” and “Typical FNG looking for a jaywalker to write” are used to deride other officers considered to be hardnosed and over-zealous.

    But to arrest someone over a jaywalking incident? That is totally over the top. It would be a long time before those guys will not be laughed about at coffee breaks.

  7. Hi Darren.

    I always enjoy your sense of calm rational reaction to these types of stories. I wish all police officers were like you.

    I was greatly affected by the woman’s sense of injustice in what had befallen her. Her cries of not having done anything wrong. Her screaming. These communicate to me a violation of a fundamental right of freedom. It calls into question the very idea of the existence of a jaywalking infraction. If a jaywalking infraction can lead to this, then I say get rid of that law. The law is more dangerous than the potential danger of jaywalking.

    I sometimes wonder about speeding laws in the same vein, although with speeding laws, there certainly is a safety issue that is well documented. The problem is that enforcement seems to be more of a revenue stream and creates the image of police officers as harassing citizens. People don’t think, “look at all those crazy people speeding on highway; somebody needs to make them slow down.” No, most people are on the lookout for the officers trying to catch speeders. Many even pay for devices to detect their radars. What most citizens are afraid of are not the speeders but the police officers making speeders slow down. Something is wrong with this picture for a nation that prides itself as being the land of the free.

  8. It is obviously time for the chief to go. The attitude he shows is that he and his officers get off on using their power to reduce a woman to tears, and getting her in their power. The rape analogy is quite appropriate since they say that rape is more about power than sex, so I can see why he thought of that. That his officers did not rape her is hardly to their credit since he and they like doing this kind of thing. Such folks are called sadists, NOT POLICE!

  9. “She did the limp routine”

    Police Chief complained about that, but had she NOT done the limp routine, she would have been charged with resisting arrest.

    Typical stupid “We are right and you are wrong no matter what you do” mentality.

  10. Thank you David:

    You are right about the woman’s pleas. Regular people have a sense of what is right and wrong. Even those who commit crimes knowingly at least recognize they have some form of fault in it. But when those such as this woman cry out like this it is more than them being not guilty, it is because they believe that it was an injustice that shouldn’t be tolerated. Interestingly the opposite is true as well. Many times I have had incidents where I arrested a guy that was undeniably guilty of a crime. He would protest about how BS the situation was and all, nothing really serious. Then after driving in the dark for about ten minutes on the way to the jail, he would be sleeping like a baby in the back seat. They knew they were had for what they did so for the moment the accepted it and nodded off.

    There are times as you asked where speed enforcement is needed because people can become carried away. A highway that went through my area was a long open road and there were problems on Fridays and Sundays with speeders going way over the limit. So the state patrol would go out there and hammer them for a few weeks and the speeding would go down. One emphasis I worked the speeders were so bad I wasn’t stopping anything under 80 mph. That stretch of highway had a lot of wrecks over the years and high speed was one factor. One good thing about this was to put a lot of traffic stops over a long stretch of area. This gave more of an illusion of police presence than really was the case. When people saw this they started up with their cell phone / smart phone social media chats warning everyone how thick the patrols were and warned others not to speed or they would get caught, creating what’s called a “halo effect.” It didn’t matter so much as how many tickets were written, but how many cars were stopped, even if warnings were given, the message got across just thesame.

    But quite frankly I got tired of writing infractions for people (ordinary traffic tickets) because I ended up feeling sorry for them. I still scratched out a ticket for no insurance or handicapped parking violation without any reservation. But to me writing someone for ten over or not signaling just caused the driver more trouble with their insurance and the costs than it was of benefit. I’d still pull them over but unless they were committing some crime I just gave a warning unless it was something really blatent or an accident resulted. Crimes were a different story.

    Tickets as revenue sources are a touchy issue. I don’t have a problem in general with the fines from one or two tickets written during a shift but those traffic cameras generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines that some gov’t contractor shares and results in a windfall for a city I have a huge problem with that. These have been installed in some communities and the public became very upset with them. Some cities later banned their use after public pressure.

  11. QUOTE ““I attempted to place the arrest into context by bringing attention to the fact that law enforcement deals with many acts of serious misconduct.”

    Is he talking about jaywalking, or manhandling people in a arrest for jaywalking??!?

    Or perhaps referring back to cops that rape or sexually assault….??

    Or is he talking about the murderers & felons that are out on the streets, while they arrest jaywalkers?

    The chief is a mystery….

  12. Disgusting. Frightening. The Chief claiming that women should be relieved it’s not a rape, just an arrest is absolutely chilling. I’ve been told something similar several times when in a debate about women’s issues in the US. Basically, “what are you complaining about? Be thankful you live in a civilized country, you could be living in Afghanistan”. It appears that we all must lower our expectations of what constitutes civility, in these people’s minds, so they can continue abusing others, because they aren’t as vile as ” them”….yet.

  13. I suspect he is making a snide reference to San Diego, where we have had close to half a dozen officers charged with multiple counts ranging from simply groping female arestees, to exposing themselves, to offering to release them in exchange for sexual favors. Not a pretty picture.

  14. This is crazy….. The COP deserves a new employment opportunity…. They may use this rouse of jaywalking as the reason…. But the are really looking for under aged drinkers…. 24th street is over by the upper scale living and bars…..

  15. Darren, I agree with your assessment of traffic camera tickets. The voters in Houston got rid of them because they were simply there as revenue generation. I got a ticket for making a right turn at a red light AFTER I had come to a stop. I later learned that the cameras gave tickets if you did not stop for a minimum of four seconds. They did a survey, and over 85% of the tickets were given for right turn on red, NOT for running a turning red light, which was the ostensible reason for them in the first place. The law does not require a four second delay, and so these tickets were in violation of the law.

    I got a speeding ticket once, and the trooper asked me if there was a reason for my going so fast. I replied I had a couple of Whataburgers that were hot and I needed to get home sooner rather than later. We both laughed at that, but I still got a ticket and we had a pleasant chat. He made getting a ticket almost enjoyable and his name was Smith as well. Must be something about that name that makes for good cops.

  16. One of the infractions cited is a “failure to identify”; does anyone have any details on this?

    If one of the lawyers or LEOs on the blog could answer:

    1. Are citizen of Texas and Austin required to carry ID on their persons at all times?
    2. If so, are they required to produce it on the demand of the police?
    3. Did Stephen merely fail to produce required ID or did she simply refuse to provide her name?

    Much obliged for any answers.

  17. Police are being trained now that the American citizen is enemy number one. This is part of the ongoing treason that began with the false flag event of 911 and continues with hoaxes like Boston, Sandy Hoax, LAX, and dozens of other obvious staged events that fit there current objective of gun confiscation wich is only a stepping stone to there larger goal of enslavement of the entire planet, at least those who are not killed outright.
    All this is completely exposed on youtube so people need to WTFU now if humanity has a chance to survive. Start with WTC7 and you will see the evidence of an inside job is overwelming and beyond any shadow of a doubt. The MSM have been in on it from the beginning and are the key to how they continue to get away with it.

  18. The Austin Chief is making reference to San Diego where cops have been exposed as rapists, preying on drunk women. The good citizens of San Diego got rid of their pervert mayor, now they have to clean house in the police dept.

  19. What a coach roach Acevedo is. This is so disgusting it is hard to express what I feel. It is small wonder this idiot didn’t say “she should be damned glad the arresting officer didn’t pull out his weapon and kill her.”

    One has to know that the coward with a gun and badge must have been threatened by this 110 pound female. She should thank her lucky stars that she is alive.

  20. Commenters should set aside the rape and police misconduct hysteria. The issues are safety, jaywalking and defiance of one high-strung pedestrian toward obeyance of law and law officers. When this woman began her “limp routine” attitude, the officers should have escorted her to the police station and not deal with it at the scene. They have important work to do in the field.

    But, let there be a lesson from this.

    This type of defiant behavior results in countless numbers of pedestrians being injured and killed in this country. I live in San Francisco where pedestrian-auto deaths are alarmingly high and it is getting worse, yet autos get some 96% of the citations. Cities,developers and highly qualified traffic planners have put in place elaborate designs and signage so that autos, pedestrians and bicycles can co-exist. Look around sometime and observe how many pedestrians and bicyclists disobey signage, curbs and jaywalking laws and are distracted by their cell phones and earplugs. Same for drivers who are distracted and fail to yield. Add to it those who are wearing black in poorly lighted areas at night and who step out in front of traffic in the middle of a block!

    In SF last week, a 91 year old woman jaywalked and stepped in front of a cement truck. My 80’s mother would cross in designated areas and was taunted by agressive Austin drivers. I recall bicyclists (who do not pay for roads) in downtown SF playing daredevil games by weaving in and out in front of city buses and, alas, one day one of those bravados was crushed by the wheel of a bus. One day at noontime I saw a pregnant woman killed as she crossed a busy sreet mid-block in front of traffic. Survival of the fittest?

    I suggest putting all this energy into publc awareness and conversation about a serious issue which I suggest is a major public health and safety issue: JAYWALKING.

  21. Interestingly, the Chief’s comments also provide the basis for a false arrest claim (at least) against the Department. The Chief stated repeatedly that she was arrested for failure to identify herself at the request of the officers, not for jaywalking or for resisting arrest. The problem is that there is no law that allows for an arrest for failure to identify yourself. The law says you can be charged with an offence for failure to identify yourself AFTER you have been arrested. Yet, the Chief admitted she was arrested for failing to identify and that “that” is why she spent time in jail. Well, thank you very much Mr.Chief, you just admitted that your officers made the woman spend time in jail based on an arrest that had no basis in the law! I commented on this in my Torts blog here: http://bernabetorts.blogspot.com/2014/02/police-chief-apparently-admits-to-false.html

  22. @nick spinelli

    Au Contraire Msr. Spinelli. He’s obviously making reference to Chicago where cops have been exposed as rapists, preying on drunk women.

  23. This is an example of what is wrong with police departments. Not only is the police chief an idiot, the officers are concerned about changing the behavior or citizens. The behavior that should be changed is the behavior of the officers and administration.
    LFDJR-SF,
    Just because someone is riding a bicycle means that they don’t pay taxes for the roads? Or are you suggesting a cyclist doesn’t pay tolls on toll roads? I guess someone should not wear black at night if there is a chance that they may be walking in a poorly lit area. Jaywalking arrests or citations, in most cases, are an excuse for police to harass citizens.

  24. To my knowledge, bicyclists do not pay taxes or fees for the use of streets, bicycle lanes and government services (as when they use police when a bicycle is stolen or they kill a pedestrian as in the case of a bicyclist in San Francisco last year). I’m personally against paying tolls and private ownership of roadways. Payment of a fee on, say, a bicycle operating permit in certain areas, is a way to educate bicyclists about safety and maintain their attention to compliance and offset the costs.. They need to have some investment in the community infrastructure.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Streets-of-S-F-a-road-hazard-as-pedestrian-5205143.php

    Check out the comments of the victim’s son in this case:

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/08/15/san-francisco-cyclist-sentenced-in-death-of-pedestrian/

    As for wearing black at night, I am suggesting that pedestrians need to exercise street-smarts, i.e, to be self-aware and diligently obey those laws which are designed to protect them in hazardous situatinos.

    Where police are harassing citizens through frivolous jaywalking (or traffic) arrests or citations, there should be legal and political attention.

  25. I believe there was a Supreme Court case decided recently that determined that citizens do not have to act submissively when pulled over by a police officer. I can’t find it, maybe someone else can or maybe Professor Turley can help us.

  26. Having been in this situaton (in South Texas) before, I suggest that the question could have been answered simply and without such a smart-alek attitude. I recently heard a briefing by prominent law enforcement down there and was alarmed at the numbers of human beings, drugs, money, military-style weapons and munitions that are transorted on highways by seemingly law-abiding citizens. This doesn’t even come close to the barbaric crimes which compare to atrocities we have all heard about.

    It has to be a difficult balance for those in law enforcement who are on the front lines. Citizens need to exercise good judgment also. When in a high crime area, in paritcular, a little courtesy and manners goes a long way. Why does the guy in this video protest so much over a simple question?

  27. Prof. Bernabe, thank you for that analysis. Very interesting.

    I know that here in Florida, pedestrians do not have to present ID to an officer asking for it. This seems like the right way the law should be concerning our basic liberty.

  28. A few years ago our local PD here in Seattle, I caught two beat officers jay walking on Pine Street between 2nd and 3rd, in the heart of downtown, just chatting it up…
    … I tossed them the old, “Hey, who supposed to write you guys up for jay walking?” (nowadays that is called taking life into one’s hands).

    They clipped back, “As long as you’re using the alleyway as your intersection, it’s O.K.”

  29. Texas Failure to Identify Law, What it Says vs. What Police Think It Says

    May 9, 2013

    ExCop-LawStudent Uncategorized Civil rights violation, Failure to identify, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Illegal arrest, police, Police abuse, Police officer 9 Comments

    The Texas Failure to Identify law is fairly simple. Why don’t police get it? It states:
    (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.
    (b) A person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has: (1) lawfully arrested the person;
    (2) lawfully detained the person; or
    (3) requested the information from a person that the peace officer has good cause to believe is a witness to a criminal offense.

    (c) Except as provided by Subsections (d) and (e), an offense under this section is: (1) a Class C misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a); or
    (2) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (b).

    (d) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the defendant was a fugitive from justice at the time of the offense, the offense is: (1) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a); or
    (2) a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (b).

    (e) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under Section 106.07, Alcoholic Beverage Code, the actor may be prosecuted only under Section 106.07.

    Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 38.02.

  30. I am confused here. Is the issue the fact that the Chief made such ignorant comments after the fact or that someone who could have just given them her name, taken a ticket for jaywalking and dealt with it in court; chose to throw a temper tantrum in public? Seriously how could they just issue a ticket if they don’t know who she is. Jaywalking is not a major crime. Simply giving them her name even if she did not have her ID (which she should have had) (what if she would have been hit by a car) (who would police notify that their daughter was dead, because she stepped out in front of a car) could probably prevented all of this.

    My son was almost killed by Deputies in Montgomery County, TX, so I am not by any means a PRO-COP activist; just trying to put a little common sense into the discussion. Along with all the post about RIGHTS, think about RESPONSIBILITIES.

    https://lagann2002.wordpress.com

  31. lagan, You do not need to have ID on you at all times, especially when jogging, unless you are carrying your pistol like our Guv for life Perry. In fact, the only thing you must do according to the SCOTUS is to give a cop your correct name. The cops failed to use common sense as our former police officer Darren has pointed out.

  32. THOSE DUTIFUL COPS GOT THEIR ARREST FOR THE DAY. THEY CAN NOW GO BACK TO THE DONUT SHOP…….LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THOSE PIGS. THAT IS WHY THEY MUST ARREST PEOPLE FOR RIDICULOUS VIOLATIONS. THEY ARE TOO FAT TO PURSUE REAL CRIMINALS.

  33. lagann2002, I agree with Randy that she does not need to have her ID with her. I will add further that I am not in agreement with the civil infraction of jaywalking, other than perhaps a possible verbal warning concerning safety.

    Driving a car is considered a privilege. Therefore, we have licenses for the privilege and we create rules of driving and require presenting the driver’s license when stopped.

    Walking is not a privilege. It is a fundamental right. This case in particular highlights this distinction between the right to walk and the privilege to drive.

    The laws regarding pedestrians should be that they have the full right of way period. People might observe traffic lights out of a courtesy, but if they see the way is clear, I have no problem with people crossing the road when the pedestrian marker is red. If the government has a big problem with it, then maybe they should then do like they do in Moscow and build tunnels at each intersection for the pedestrians.

  34. david, Or they could do as the regime in Romania did when I was there in 1984 in Bucharest. I was on foot at an intersection downtown and the traffic light had turned green for my direction of travel, so I did the normal Houston thing and started across. There were about a hundred of so folks around, and when I started many of them did so too. Unfortunately, the pedestrian light had not changed, and a cop down the street saw that and whistled. Virtually everybody RAN back to the sidewalk, leaving me almost halfway across. I decided that when in Romania do as the Romanians do, so I joined the throng back on the sidewalk. I was astounded at the strict obedience to the cop, and decided, I need to get out of this place ASAP.

    When I crossed the Hungarian border a few days later, I spoke to the Hungarian guards in German that I was DAMNED glad to be out of that country. They laughed and said that they heard that all the time.

  35. There should be some weight/physical fitness requirements to be a police officer since the inherent nature of the job requires one be physically fit (except in this case). I would not hire these men to do a physically demanding job like police work – we def need some kind of reform but I’d be surprised to see it happen.

  36. Woman wearing headphones doesn’t hear the cop tell her to stop. Why should she think the cop was speaking to her IF she heard him? If a male hand grabbed me, I, too, would tell him not to touch me. I’d back away, take the headphones off and consider what to do next. If it was cop, now is the time to find out why he accosted me. No reason for handcuffs. Plenty of reason for cop to COMMUNICATE, respectfully, what I was doing wrong and that he needed to know my name. He might want to remind me that giving a false name is far more serious than jaywalking. I give him my name, he gives me the citation, and we both go on our way.

    Sounds like the chief would have charged her with resisting arrest for going limp, or, if she didn’t go limp he would charge her with resisting arrest. Gotta love that chief, gotcha comin; and goin;.

  37. Cretinous thugs on patrol. How very professional.

    Austin chief of police clowns looks very pretty in his costume one day when he grows up he is going to be a general in the circus.

  38. Would views expressed here be different if this involved someone other than a young, white female wearing a black jogging outfit in a middle class neighborhood of Austin?

  39. randyjet & davidm2575 – I never said she had to have her ID, said she should have. As a parent I would want to know if something happened to my child ASAP, not days later when they finally found out who they were.

  40. 40+ years in Austin & theres never been any serious crime
    They could fire 1/2 the force & the crime rate wouldnt change one iota
    Police fire & EMS consume 66.6% of city revenue
    Jaywalking ? Seriously?
    nothing but a make work detail for the chronically bored

  41. LFDJR-SF: “To my knowledge, bicyclists do not pay taxes or fees for the use of streets, bicycle lanes and government services (as when they use police when a bicycle is stolen or they kill a pedestrian as in the case of a bicyclist in San Francisco last year).”

    I suppose you are talking about gas taxes and usage fees (you weren’t clear). Those taxes account for about 50% of the cost of roads. The rest comes out of other sources (like taxes also paid by people who ride bicyces, many of whom drive cars). And, compared to cars (and trucks), any “wear and tear” on the roadways that a bicycle can cause is very small.

    http://taxfoundation.org/blog/statelocal-road-spending-covered-user-fees-user-taxes-categories-separated-out

    LFDJR-SF: “I recall bicyclists (who do not pay for roads) in downtown SF playing daredevil games by weaving in and out in front of city buses…”

    Keep in mind that bicyclists are allowed by the law to use the roads. That they “don’t pay” isn’t relevant (in the same way that “paying” doesn’t excuse drivers from doing illegal things).

  42. LFDJR-SF: “Payment of a fee on, say, a bicycle operating permit in certain areas, is a way to educate bicyclists about safety and maintain their attention to compliance and offset the costs.. They need to have some investment in the community infrastructure.”

    Fees don’t prevent drivers from breaking the law. What evidence do you have that bicyclists break the law more frequently than drivers do?

    Other than fines, the fees drivers pay don’t go anywhere near “offsetting the costs”. Anyway, if you were really interested in getting costs covered, you’d suggest raising fees for drivers first. (Keep in mind that any “reasonable” fee one could charge bicyclists probably wouldn’t cover the cost of the bureaucracy required to collect and enforce it.) I suppose you think that “jaywalkers”/pedestrians should be charged a fee too.

  43. davidm2575: “The laws regarding pedestrians should be that they have the full right of way period.”

    Well, no. Pedestrians don’t (and shouldn’t) have the right to walk in front of a car that can’t reasonably stop in time.

    Pedestrians have the “right of way” -in- crosswalks (in most states) but they don’t have the right to enter the crosswalk anytime they feel like.

    (I don’t have a problem with “jaywalking” by itself but pedestrians have to take extra care when they choose to do it.)

  44. lagann2002: “randyjet & davidm2575 – I never said she had to have her ID, said she should have. As a parent I would want to know if something happened to my child ASAP, not days later when they finally found out who they were.”

    Whether she should have been carrying ID is irrelevant in this case.

  45. bettykath: “Woman wearing headphones doesn’t hear the cop tell her to stop. Why should she think the cop was speaking to her IF she heard him? If a male hand grabbed me, I, too, would tell him not to touch me.”

    Woman wearing headphones while running in city traffic is not very smart. (Though, that’s irrelevant to this case.)

  46. davep wrote: “Pedestrians don’t (and shouldn’t) have the right to walk in front of a car that can’t reasonably stop in time.”

    No, but that’s not what full right of way means. It means that cars should yield to pedestrians. Sailboats and motorboats, who has the right of way? Sailboats. It doesn’t mean that sailboats should just sail in front of motorboats. It means that motorboats yield to them.

    At the University of Florida, for example, there is a 20 mph speed limit on campus and all pedestrians have full right of way. That means cars yield to pedestrians in all situations. It does not mean that students can jump in front of cars and get hit. If a student steps off a curb, the motor vehicle shall stop and yield until the way is clear to proceed.

  47. davep wrote: “Pedestrians don’t (and shouldn’t) have the right to walk in front of a car that can’t reasonably stop in time.”

    davidm2575 wrote: “No, but that’s not what full right of way means. It means that cars should yield to pedestrians.”

    What do you mean “full” mean? No one has “full” right-of-way.

    The “right of way” is a bad phrase because it really isn’t a “right”. It’s actually something people are required (if only due to practicality) to give up readily to avoid a collision. Thus, it really isn’t a “right” nor is it “full”. Ever.

    davidm2575 wrote: “Sailboats and motorboats, who has the right of way? Sailboats.”

    It’s not “right of way” (that term isn’t used in the navigation rules (except in a particular and unusual case). It’s “stand on”. And sailboats don’t always have it.

    The navigation rules avoid using the “right of way” phrase because it isn’t a “right”. In maritime law, it appears that it’s very rare to accord the blame for a collision between two vessels to one captain. It’s a general principle that captains take action to avoid collisions over any “right of way” consideration. There certainly is no “full right of way” on water.

    davidm2575: “The laws regarding pedestrians should be that they have the full right of way period.”

    This is too broad. Pedestrians don’t have the “full right of way period” in the traffic laws of any US state.

    Legally, generally, they have the “right of way” in crosswalks. And they don’t have the “right of way” to enter crosswalks (they are required to yield to traffic). Outside of crosswalks (such as in so-called “jaywalking”), they have to yield to traffic. When crossing a high speed road, it makes more sense to require that pedestrians yield to traffic.

    Pedestrians might have the “full right of way” on the University of Florida campus (which can have rules that supercede the state traffic law). A 20 mph speed limit makes that practical to do. The pedestrian (at least on streets where the state traffic laws apply) is required to yield traffic before stepping off the curb.

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    There is no “full right of way”. The “right of way” is either something you have (something you can use without a risk of collision) or it’s something that you give-up (to avoid a collision) readily. It’s not something you “contest”. It’s an optimistic right (it’s only a “right” if conditions allow).

    Note that there are two aspects of this: 1) what to do to avoid a collision in the first place (the most important thing) and 2) ascribing fault after the fact

    You always (should) give up your so-called “right of way” to avoid a collision (thus, your “right of way” is never “full”).

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