Memphis Councilman To Target Jaywalkers

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(Memphis) Jaywalking is a huge issue in the City of Memphis.

“I’m guilty of jay walking,” said Erica Hunt who works for a bail bonds company across from the Criminal Justice Center.

Not only does Hunt participate, she said she sees people illegally crossing the street all the time.

“Because they don’t have patience. They want to get to where they are going. Sometimes they might not even notice the crosswalks. That’s another reason they just hurry up and cross the street,” said Hunt.

Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris said Thursday pedestrians do not use the cross walks because they are not safe.

He was behind a proposal that passed the city council unanimously this week.

The proposal will force drivers to come to a complete stop when a pedestrian is in a cross walk in which there are no stop lights.

Starting September 18th, drivers can be given a $50 traffic citation.

Harris is now looking into jaywalking.

Right now, a traffic ticket for jaywalking is only $5.

“There is some room to grow that fee because we are not writing $5 tickets . If people get a $5 ticket it wouldn’t have much impact,” said Harris.

Harris said he will work to have the citation fee increased to $50.

He will also encourage the Memphis Police Department to write more jaywalking tickets, which Hunt said isn’t happening much.

“I’ve seen the police use the speaker, intercom, to tell people to use the cross walk. But I’ve never seen people get a ticket for jaywalking,” said Hunt.

“For a police officer, they have to prioritize. Police have a lot on their plates right now. There is a lot of serious crime,” added Harris.