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Key Laws Every Resident Should Know in Los Angeles

A new year brings with it numerous bills-turned-laws and ballot measures that could impact your home, neighborhood and community.

Starting this year, it has been illegal in Los Angeles to skateboard or rollerblade within libraries or courts without authorization, and washing someone else’s car without their consent is also against the law.

Jaywalking Laws

California’s jaywalking laws were long considered among the strictest in the nation, with fines often attached for crossing without designated crosswalks. Recently however, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the Freedom to Walk Act decriminalizing pedestrians who cross outside an intersection when certain it is safe – something seen as a victory by low-income communities of color who were more likely to be ticketed than whiter neighborhoods for jaywalking. Furthermore it aims to dissuade drivers from acting aggressively towards pedestrians under the impression that cars had priority over pedestrians – something Governor Newsom hopes will also discourage drivers from acting aggressively toward pedestrians due to misperception that cars had priority over pedestrians when crossing outside an intersection – something no other state can do – another victory aimed at dissuasion against aggression towards cars having the right of way!

Assemblymember Phil Ting introduced legislation that stipulates police cannot stop and issue tickets against pedestrians for jaywalking unless they believe that person is in immediate danger from vehicles, or is in another form of danger. When crossing roads, pedestrians must still yield to vehicle traffic and remain aware; don’t assume a driver can see you!

As per current law, pedestrians who jaywalk in residential areas can be ticketed under Vehicle Code 21955, although this violation only applies to residents and not non-residents of that community. However, dangerous jaywalking in these settings carries lesser charges and does not incur DMV points.

Jaywalking does have its critics. Some safety advocates worry that police officer discretion might be exploited by agencies looking to reduce citation rates. Matt Norton from California YIMBY notes that laws were initially meant to shift responsibility away from drivers onto pedestrians.

As with any traffic offense, pedestrians who are hit while jaywalking have the right to bring a civil suit against the driver who caused their injuries in order to seek financial recompense for injuries suffered as a result of jaywalking. Meanwhile, those walking on public streets should always keep both eyes open for vehicles driving by them and be particularly aware when walking near dense urban environments.

Parking Laws

Los Angeles parking laws can be notoriously complex; anyone who’s driven around Koreatown or paid extra for parking on Sunset Strip knows this to be true. Navigating these rules, however, can be easier if you know exactly what it is you need to look out for.

After World War II, LA city leaders quickly realized they faced a serious parking shortage near homes and businesses – leading to traffic jams as drivers cruised around looking for parking spots. Therefore, in 1946 they mandated every new residential or commercial building include certain “parking minimums.”

The city’s parking rules are governed by various codes and regulations; but, at their core, they all follow one pattern: parking on red curbs without prior written approval is strictly forbidden and any car must remain at least 15 feet from any fire hydrant (even if marked).

Color also sets rules: yellow curbs may be used without restrictions after 6pm and before 7am; green curbs have limited parking during the daytime but are free for parking in other times; white curbs should only be used for passenger loading except in front of hotels, theaters or mailboxes; while blue curbs are reserved exclusively for disabled individuals.

Parking on sidewalks or private property without permission without proper documentation is illegal and could result in your vehicle being towed away, while leaving it parked for longer than 72 hours will earn a ticket with impound fees applied subsequently. Living in your car in Los Angeles is also not allowed – though certain residential streets allow it – and areas where children play or people go to school or work have prohibited it altogether; to learn more, check out our Los Angeles Car Living guide.

Public Safety Laws

Los Angeles Public Safety Department is dedicated to safeguarding the welfare and security of all its residents, which means applicants for positions within this department must possess an unblemished record and undergo an exhaustive screening process including psychological testing. Any candidate with criminal pasts or any history of unethical or immoral behaviors are not eligible for hire.

Public safety requires the LAPD’s active partnership with its community. To promote citizen involvement and participation, several programs exist, such as Crime Stoppers which offers cash rewards for information that leads to arrest. Furthermore, neighborhood policing teams were created within LAPD that provide more personalized crime prevention measures in local neighborhoods.

In addition to these programs, the city’s prosecutors and district attorneys have worked diligently to reduce the number of nonviolent criminals held in its jails. This has resulted in reduced time spent behind bars by prisoners as well as overall crime rates declining; yet there remains much work that needs to be done in order to improve quality of life for residents.

Law enforcement should stay out of harm reduction community-based organizations such as needle exchanges and distribution of Naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug. I also support using existing federal resources like 988 mental health crisis line to assist individuals seeking help without calling the police directly. Furthermore, I support expanding community programs like Housing Management Model which offers multidisciplinary approach for keeping public housing secure by engaging site managers, residents and law enforcement into one coordinated effort of crime prevention for greater effectiveness as well as creating safer neighborhoods overall.

Traffic Laws

Los Angeles is known for its car culture, with residents spending much of their time driving around the city. If you live here or plan on visiting soon, knowing the local traffic laws can help ensure safe travel throughout this massive metropolis.

Traffic laws vary across states, yet most share some similar principles. For instance, drivers must adhere to or under the speed limit unless special circumstances apply (i.e. bad weather conditions, road construction projects or environmental influences).

When slowing down, it is best to do it gradually rather than abruptly braking as sudden brakes can cause other vehicles to react unexpectedly and increase the risk of an accident. California law also prohibits driving too slowly as this interferes with traffic flow and poses a safety threat to other drivers.

Distracted driving is another widespread error on Los Angeles roadways, and we’ve witnessed it many times ourselves. Drivers applying makeup, eating food or snacks, playing online slot games via Yoakim Bridge; reading books or materials from their handhelds; texting back; playing computer games etc can all distract drivers on our streets – it can be frightening sharing the road with such unfocused motorists!

Good news is there are various methods available to prevent driving distractions, including using hands-free devices and setting your phone to “Do Not Disturb.” Also remember to keep your eyes focused on the road at all times and only take your hands off of the wheel for gear changes or parking purposes.

All motorists must allow emergency vehicles with lights illuminated to travel safely on freeways or local streets, including firetrucks, police cars, tow trucks and Caltrans equipment. Starting in September 2019, Assembly Bill 2285 establishes potential fines against violators who do not move over or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle with illuminated lights on an highway; this includes firetrucks, police cars, tow trucks and Caltrans equipment.

Some Los Angeles streets are narrow, making their navigation more challenging than usual. This is especially true on popular routes like Los Feliz Boulevard and Pasadena Freeway where other vehicles may crisscross your path as you try to navigate safely.

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