Texting while walking in NJ could lead to fines under proposed bill
These days, it's not uncommon to see people walking across a busy street with their heads down, staring at their smartphone and not paying much attention to traffic.
One lawmaker is looking to impose fines for "distracted walking," according to Mahwah Patch.
Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt is the sponsor of a proposed bill that could result in a $50 fine for pedestrians who are caught using their phones while crossing the street and the possibility of a 15-day jail sentence, according to the article.
Lampitt told Patch that the purpose behind the legislation is to make sure people are aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when crossing the street. An employee at the University of Pennsylvania, Lampitt told the website she knew a student who was struck and killed by a bus while crossing the street. He was using his phone at the time of the crash.
In January, All Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, told NJ 101.5 that distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving in some cases.
“That’s definitely a recipe for disaster. When you get to that crosswalk, it’s the time to stop and put your full attention on making it across that street,” said Della Fave. “Plain and simple it just needs both driver and pedestrian to be more responsible in terms of looking out for each other."
The bill was introduced in the Assembly on Monday.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor for news at NJ 101.5. Reach her at email@example.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.