Texting While Walking Could Come With a 15 Day Prison Sentence in This State

Texting While Walking Could Come With a 15 Day Prison Sentence in This State

Everyone’s seen the stories: someone is walking along, staring at their phone and they walk right into traffic, or off a cliff, or into some other catastrophe. And now a New Jersey lawmaker is trying to make texting and walking a crime.

texting while walking

From Mashable:

The measure recently introduced by New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt would ban walking while texting and bar pedestrians on public roads from using electronic communication devices unless they are hands-free. Violators would face fines of up to $50, 15 days imprisonment or both, which is the same penalty as jaywalking.

Half of the fine would be allocated to safety education about the dangers of walking and texting, Lampitt, a Democrat, said.

Some see the proposal as an unnecessary government overreach, while others say they understand Lampitt’s reasoning. But most agree that people need to be made aware of the issue rather than taking for granted that nothing bad will happen to them.

“Distracted pedestrians, like distracted drivers, present a potential danger to themselves and drivers on the road,” Lampitt said. “An individual crossing the road distracted by their smartphone presents just as much danger to motorists as someone jaywalking and should be held, at minimum, to the same penalty.”

The main question raised about the measure, though, is whether it can be enforced consistently by police officers who usually have more pressing matters to deal with. Schumacher is among those who feel that rather than imposing a new law, the state should focus on distracted walking education.

This may seem like nanny state behavior, but this is not necessarily a victimless crime. People who are texting and walking can cause accidents which can kill other people — so whether or not this legislation is the way to go, something obviously needs to be done, as people can’t be trusted to put their phones away for more than a few seconds at a time.

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