The Canadian Press

Halifax:  A proposal to increase the fine for jaywalking in Nova Scotia to nearly $700 is being roundly criticized by active transportation advocates and pedestrians alike.

A proposed amendment will boost the fine from $410 to $697.50, more than the penalty for using a cell phone behind the wheel and well above jaywalking fines in other cities and provinces.

The province says the change is intended to create consistency between fines for drivers and pedestrians while also acting as a deterrent.

Tristan Cleveland with the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax calls the fine disproportionate and counterproductive.

He has created a Facebook page calling on the province to repeal the bill, saying it deters people from walking and unfairly targets lower-income people.

The RCMP says officers haven’t issued a single jaywalking fine in the Halifax area in 2015 and the force doesn’t track jaywalking statistics for the rest of the province.