Should Distracted Walking be Outlawed [POLL]
Some walks into a train in North Jersey while listening to an iPod.
Another falls off a subway platform in Philadelphia while on his cellphone, not watching where he’s going.
Stories like this are becoming all the more commonplace as we multitask while doing the simplest of tasks…walking.
Problem is, while we take for granted the walking aspect…there are so many things going on around us, that an accident is bound to occur when we’re not paying attention.
Does government need to step in to prevent us from either hurting ourselves or worse?
It’s common sense…no?
You do remember the PSA from days gone by imploring you not to cross the street in the middle of the block…teach your eyes to look up, and your ears to hear.
In other words, YOU do it! Don’t have to make US do the work for you.
Apparently though, people aren’t getting the message, or are so engrossed in their own little cyber world that the world around them is an afterthought.
Two years ago, a 12-year-old boy was killed by a train in Hackensack while listening to an iPod. Two months earlier, a 21-year-old woman, who was texting on her cellphone and wearing headphones, was killed by a train in Ramsey.
State and local officials are struggling to figure out how to respond, and in some cases asking how far government should go in trying to protect people from themselves.
Fort Lee began a crackdown on jaywalking a few months ago after a couple of pedestrian deaths, said Mayor Mark Sokolich. He said the crackdown might have targeted people who were texting or using cellphones as they crossed the street illegally, but texting itself wasn’t the object of enforcement.
Several North Jersey pedestrians acknowledged in interviews on Monday that they text while walking. Several teenagers said they get so distracted that they lose touch with what’s around them.
“Sometimes, you can walk off the sidewalk,” Rachel Case, 14, of Ridgewood, said as she sat with two friends at the Ridgewood Coffee Company on East Ridgewood Avenue.
But Emily Danz, 22, of Tenafly, who was eating lunch outside in downtown Ridgewood, said the prospect of a law banning texting while walking would be an infringement on people’s freedom.
In October 2010, 12-year-old Caesar Muloki was walking along NJ Transit’s Pascack Valley line in Hackensack when an outbound train swiped and killed him. A transit official said the boy apparently was listening to an iPod at the time.
Two months earlier, Christiana Lee, 21, of Glen Rock walked in front of an oncoming commuter train. Witnesses told investigators that she appeared to be texting on her cellphone and listening to headphones. Witnesses said she never saw the train coming.
It was good enough for a Public Service Announcement back in the day.
“Teach your eyes to look up….teach your ears to hear..etc.”
So with that, the Posse Poll:
Should distracted walking be outlawed?