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Proposed bill would throw out jaywalking violations in Kansas City, Missouri

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Posted at 6:07 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 19:07:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Getting a ticket for jaywalking may soon be a thing of the past in Kansas City, Missouri.

The City Council will consider a proposal Thursday to repeal the existing law. The legislation, sponsored by KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas, was approved by the Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee Wednesday.

Lucas said jaywalking violations do not make people safer and often lead to unnecessary interactions with law enforcement.

During a committee hearing Wednesday, Jane Brown, general legal counsel to Lucas, detailed the 123 jaywalking tickets written between 2018 and 2020. The data shows the law disproportionately affects communities of color.

Of the 123 tickets written, Brown said 65% were written to people of color and 34% were written to white people.

Brown said 83% were written to males and 16% to females.

Brown said the issue of racial disparities goes beyond just jaywalking.

"Overall, in looking at all of our pedestrians cases over that time frame, not just jaywalking, 54% of tickets are written to black individuals and 45% to white individuals," Brown said.

The city has other ordinances in place that would ticket someone for crossing the street negligently and putting themselves or others in danger.