A plan to toughen penalties for jaywalking in the city of Santa Fe appears to have lost its steam.
City councilors on the Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously rejected a proposed ordinance amendment introduced by Councilor Ron Trujillo that would have increased fines for pedestrians who don’t use crosswalks.
Since the proposal also failed to get approval from the Public Works Committee late last year, it won’t be heard by the full City Council later this month, and the current $25 penalty for jaywalking offenses will remain on the books.
Councilors Patti Bushee, Chris Calvert, Bill Dimas and Peter Ives all voted to reject the proposal to raise the potential fine to as much as $150. Councilor Carmichael Dominguez, finance chairman, said he also doesn’t support the amendment, though the chairman only votes when there is a tie.
City rules say a proposed ordinance change needs an affirmative vote at Finance or at Public Works to be considered by the full governing body.
Councilors said they want city police to focus on priorities such as burglaries and other drug-related crimes rather than adding penalties to the criminal code that might hit tourists or the homeless. Municipal Judge Ann Yalman, who supported the idea of raising the potential penalty, told officials last year that she has seen an average of about one jaywalking citation each month in her court.
Police Chief Ray Rael has explained to councilors that jaywalking is an offense that must be observed by an officer before a citation can be issued.