Proposed Streets By-law Amendment


In response to a delegation by Sergeant Tom O’Brien (London Police Services; Traffic Management Unit) to the 2007/04/23 ETC meeting and an accompanying 2007/03/28 communication (see below), “the ETC referred the communication back to Sergeant T. O’Brien and asked that he consult with the City Solicitors Office and the Environmental and Engineering Services Department to further review issues relating to pedestrians walking on the roadway and interfering with traffic; it being noted that the aforementioned review is to include exploring the possibility of establishing a Task Force to deal with this issue and an educational component is to be included with any recommendations brought back at a future meeting of the ETC.

From: Thomas O’Brien
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 4:14 p.m.
To: Usher, Harold
cc: Lysynki, Heather
Subject: by-law amendment
Follow Up Flag: follow up
Flag Status: blue
Councillor Usher,
As Chair of the ETC committee, I’m asking for consideration to amend the City of London Streets by-law S-1 by adding a specific section relating to pedestrians walking on the roadway and interfering with traffic.
Let me explain; currently there is no offence for a pedestrian to cross a street “mid-block.” Although this action is commonly referred to as “jaywalking” it is not against a provincial law or a London by-law. I’m not suggesting it should be. However, when a pedestrian chooses to “jaywalk” by stepping off the curb, onto the street AND by doing so they interfere with the right of way of somebody legally using the roadway I believe there should be a reasonable recourse regarding enforcement.
As the supervisor of the Traffic Management Unit, I regularly field complaints from motorists about pedestrians who haphazardly (or intentionally) walk across the street so closely to traffic that the drivers have to slow down, stop suddenly or take some evasive action. Currently the only option available to the officers is to charge the person under section 2.8 of the Streets by-law which reads:
Public travel – use-interference
No person shall (either by himself or by permitting others) without lawful authority, conduct any activity which interferes with public travel or use of a street.
The problem that I see is that the fine for this particular by-law, including victim surcharge is $130. I’m not 100% sure that walking or jogging is the activity targeted by this particular section.
I can advise that the Highway Traffic Act has offences relating to pedestrians disobeying red lights, amber lights or a “don’t walk” signals when crossing within an intersection. The fine for these offences is only $40 including the surcharge.
Officers are very reluctant to issue a ticket to any pedestrian when it carries a fine as hefty as $130. At the same time, officers are not going to stop and “warn” a pedestrian when a reasonable charge isn’t an option.
By specifically identifying a pedestrian offence of “jaywalking and interfering with traffic” AND attaching a more reasonable fine more reflective of the Provincial offences, I would suggest officers would be more apt to actively deal with pedestrians who jeopardize traffic and themselves by carelessly interfering with traffic when crossing the street. This in turn I believe would add a tool to the toolbox that would make the roads safer for pedestrians.
It may be the 2.8 is sufficient for the offence of jaywalking. If that is the case my petition would be to amend the set fine as mentioned above so that it becomes a viable and useful authority as opposed to one that rarely gets enforced.
I’m not sure how to go about doing this so I’m bringing it to your attention for consideration and direction.
Thomas J. O’Brien, Sergeant
Traffic Management Unit
London Police Service
ph# (519)661-4799
fax# (519)661-2450

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One Response to “Proposed Streets By-law Amendment”

  1. jerry Says:

    I have a question that is off topic of jaywalking.

    If someone has lost their drivers lic. do to d.u.i, can they still operate a fork truck in a manufactoring facility. They do hold a valid fork truck lic.

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