We all know that feeling of fear as you see someone barrelling toward you on the sidewalk with all eyes on perfecting their text message rather than watching where they’re going. Campaigns and laws to put an end to texting and driving have become commonplace, but what about pedestrians who text while crossing the street? A lawmaker in New Jersey thinks pedestrians should join drivers in going hands free when crossing the road or else face a major fine.
New Jersey’s local ABC affiliate reports about Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt’s move to introduce legislation barring pedestrians from texting while crossing the street. Lampitt explains her thinking saying, “An individual crossing the road distracted by their smartphone presents just as much danger to motorists as someone jaywalking and should be held, at a minimum, to the same penalty.”
And that penalty would be a fine of $50 or spending 15 days behind bars. Lampitt’s legislation would call for pedestrians to be completely hands free while crossing the street. That means not only must you refrain from texting, but you must also use a headset while talking on the phone as well.
Talking or texting while simply walking down the sidewalk is okay, but once a pedestrian enters a crosswalk they would have to have both hands free. Though the law currently has no sponsors, if it ever does get passed, police will enforce the new legislation in the same way they do jaywalkers.
What do you think of the legislation to end texting and walking in New Jersey?
Do you think more states should consider making text and walking illegal?