San Francisco’s new sit-lie ordinance went into effect on Friday, but police officials said it will not be enforced until February, when officers have been properly trained on it.
Proposition L was approved by voters in November. It makes it illegal to sit or lie on public sidewalks between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
The law does have some exceptions including for medical emergencies, the disabled who use wheelchairs, parades and protests, lawful sidewalk businesses or waiting in a line.
Police are still required to give an initial warning before citing violators. A first citation could bring a fine between $50 and $100 and/or community service. Multiple convictions in a 24-hour period could bring fines between $300 and $500 and up to ten days in county jail.
In a statement, the San Francisco Police Department said that it is still developing training and enforcement policies, as well as a public education campaign that will run in January.
The November ballot measure was pushed by local business owners, particularly in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Many complained that people walking past their shops were being harassed by aggressive street youth.
Photo Credit: By Franco Folini [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons