Ouch! Duval County (which is mostly made up of Jacksonville, Florida) is serious about their walking issues. Two thousand people there have received tickets for some sort of walking infraction between 2012 and 2016, according to ProPublica. And about half that amount haven’t paid the $65 fine, meaning their driver’s licenses have been suspended or their ability to get one has become limited.
The tickets were written for infractions such as crossing the street outside of a crosswalk.
An investigation into the ticketing showed that 55 percent of the tickets given in recent years went to African Americans, despite the fact that they make up only 29 percent of the city’s population. Blacks were also overrepresented in 932 tickets that led to license suspensions, at 54 percent.
Some City Council members are now asking the sheriff to have his deputies stop writing pedestrian tickets, despite law enforcement insistence that African Americans have not been targeted when issuing tickets. A bill is also being proposed to address the issue that would allow those who can’t pay fines to work them off with community service. Other lawmakers from the area are working on legislation that would separate walking infractions from punishments involving withholding drivers licenses.