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Jaywalking in Los Angeles

December 03, 1988

Greenfeld's column so reminded me of an incident which occurred to me one afternoon more than four years ago. It was the unbearably hot Olympic summer of 1984 and I was a large seven months pregnant with my first child. I was returning to my car, which I had parked in the middle of a very long block of La Brea Avenue to go to an art supply store directly across the street. Rather than waddle all the way to the corner in the humid heat, I committed the sin of jaywalking.

After carefully ascertaining that there was no traffic in either direction, I crossed and was opening the car door when an enormous motorcycle policeman roared up, his face hidden behind mirror glasses and a helmet. He impassively announced that he was giving me a ticket for jaywalking and proceeded to do so. I was too intimidated and flabbergasted to say anything. Besides, my only defense was being pregnant, tired, miserably hot and having aching feet, none of which he would have cared about anyway.

He sped away and I sat in my car, staring ruefully at the ticket, feeling like the world's easiest target.

I'm not saying I was right and he was wrong, but it certainly seems to me that the LAPD must have more important things to do than give jaywalking tickets to pregnant women on a boiling hot day.

SARA ARDITTI

Los Angeles

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