Sunday , May 19 2024
It's funny until someone gets hurt...

Lawmakers Propose Banning Texting While Walking

Every day I’m annoyed by people walking around the city distracted by smartphones and music players and not paying attention to anything going on around them. They stop abruptly in the middle of walking to read a text, so that you have to trip over yourself to avoid walking into them; they step off the curb and nearly get hit by vehicles; while talking on the phone they weave all over the sidewalk like toddlers. While I have long viewed this problem as a social malaise, lawmakers in at least two states see it as a safety issue and are proposing laws to control it.

According to New York State Senator Carl Kruger, who represents part of Brooklyn, two fatalities caused by use of personal electronic devices have occurred in his district, including the death of a man who walked in front of a bus while listening to his iPod. His proposed legislation would make using such devices while in major city crosswalks illegal.

Arkansas State Senator Jimmy Jeffress is also introducing a bill that would restrict pedestrians’ use of cell phones and music players. A headphone in one ear would be OK, but not both ears.

No word on whether anyone is proposing such measures in Pennsylvania, where a distracted woman walked into a mall fountain recently. There’s a lot of annoying giggling in this video:

I guess it’s funny until someone gets hurt.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.

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