Finally! Government Tackles The Scourge Of “Distracted Walking”

You name it and there’s some power hungry government tyrant out there who wants to regulate it. They want to decide which toilet and lightbulbs you use, what sort of food you’re allowed to give to homeless people, and whether Catholic Nuns are going to be forced to hand out free condoms to anyone who comes into their hospital. Is there any bit of minutia in American life, anything at all, that someone in the government somewhere doesn’t want to regulate? Apparently not.

While some Utah Transit Authority board members argued that the threat of being killed by a train should be enough potential punishment for “distracted walking” around rails, the board decided Wednesday also to impose fines for it.

The board voted 11-3 to create a $50 civil fine for distracted walking around UTA rail lines, and repeat offenses would cost $100. It comes after a rash of train accidents in recent months.

The new ordinance says examples of walking while distracted include – but are not limited to – talking on cellphones, listening to music with headphones, texting, “attending to personal hygiene” or reading newspapers or magazines while crossing tracks.

So taking a call from your wife, reading the paper, or listening to Justin Bieber now merits a $50 fine if a policeman in Utah arbitrarily decides it’s “distracting” you? Isn’t listening to Justin Bieber punishment enough in and of itself? Then there’s “attending to personal hygiene.” What, are they having a big problem with people brushing their teeth on the train tracks? Any government agency that thinks it’s appropriate to fine people for not paying enough attention when they’re walking needs to be take down a peg or two on general principle.

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