It’s the latest crackdown on criminals in California. This time, the LAPD is targeting the dangerous, jaywalkers.

That’s right. Jaywalkers.

With gaping holes in budgets, the LAPD is once again turning to fines as a patchwork for the department. Already, the city has increased parking fines by 25% over last year. The fine for minor moving violations has more than doubled.

Now, it can be costly to cross the road at the wrong time or the wrong place.

My concern with this action is much the same as my concern with a story I came across several weeks ago in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, the city is facing a revenue shortfall for its parking enforcement officers. They were tasked to do jobs that weren’t originally planned. They helped with crowd control or policed special events. Because of this, the city ordered them to crack down on parking violators and write more tickets for the remainder of the year.

However, there is supposed to be a nexus between the cost of a ticket and the cost for the city to enforce that law and write that citation. This means that a fine or fee should be revenue neutral, and there should be no incentive to enforce the law. 

Here we see in LA the same response to budget shortfalls: more tickets equals more revenues.

What happened to their nexus?

From the Los Angeles Times:

Pedestrians should think twice before jaywalking in downtown L.A. — or they could walk away with a $191 fine.

During the busy holiday shopping season, the Los Angeles Police Department is ramping up a zero-tolerance policy for jaywalkers downtown, particularly the Historic Core area, as part of an effort to reduce accidents and prevent crime, officials said.

A citation won’t be cheap, now costing $191.

Read the full article here.