Fines for Texting While Walking?
An $85 dollar ticket for texting while walking? In Fort Lee, New Jersey police are warning avid texters that they will receive hefty fines for not obeying new laws that prohibit texting while walking across the street. “It’s a big distraction,” said Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department. “Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware.”Fines for Texting While WalkingFines for Texting While Walking
Some residents in the borough think that the fines are too stiff. But perhaps the effort will save lives. Already this year, three people were killed in pedestrian-involved accidents while walking through the neighborhood of approximately 35,000. Still, residents like Sue Choe feel that they are responsible enough to be aware of what is going on around them. She said, “When I walk I still look around. I’m not like constantly looking down the whole time.” While some people may be responsible, we’ve all experienced the “text-walker” in various settings. Whether it be trying to pass someone on the sidewalk or waiting in line behind them as they text away, oblivious to the fact that the person in front of them advanced some time ago.
Police officers handed out pamphlets during a short grace period before aggressively ticketing those who’ve they deemed as “dangerous walkers.” According to the New Jersey Record, more than 117 tickets have already been issued and with the amount of pedestrians still texting while they walk, that number could soar by the end of the year. A study conducted at Stony Brook University in New York reported that people who text while walking are 60 percent more likely to veer off of their walking path than non-texters. “We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting,” said co-author of the study Eric Lamberg, “Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking.”
Hopefully, this effort will attempt to increase awareness of those who are guilty of texting while walking and will lead to saving lives. But it’s not just pedestrians that need to be aware – motorists need to be just as aware when on the road. Adhering to laws, using common sense, and abiding by safety regulations is always best practice.
Ty Wilson is a Savannah pedestrian accident attorney who always strives to educate the injured and families of the injured. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to read Ty’s many articles, watch his videos, and order his FREE books BEFORE hiring a lawyer, talking to the insurance company or even signing any forms. You’ll be glad you did!
Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.