New Laws Against Texting While Walking

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New Laws against Texting while Walking

Will Rogers once said “You can't legislate intelligence and common sense into people." However, you can try. After recent incidents involving distracted pedestrian accidents, New York and Arkansas are attempting to outlaw texting or listening to music while walking, or cycling. It may seem a little bit ridiculous, but after Cathy Cruz Marrero’s infamous fall into a mall fountain, these means may be necessary.

Have you ever tripped while looking at your cell phone trying to decipher a text message? Cathy Cruz Marrero did. Her infamous video hit youtube about 3 weeks ago, showing a nicely dressed woman walking through the mall, looking down at her cell phone. She approaches the mall’s fountain still distracted by her phone, and continues to walk, falling face first into the fountain. Luckily, nothing was hurt but her ego.

More severely, a man walking the streets of New York was recently hit by a bus. Why? Because he was too busy listening to his ipod. There sorts of distractions are pushing New York Senator Carl Kruger to propose making use of these devices while in major city crosswalks illegal. If the bill passes, any pedestrian caught texting while walking or running will be fined a hefty $100.

State Senator Jimmy Jeffress of Arkansas is right behind Kruger’s proposal. His bill is a little bit tougher, also banning pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears whenever they are near, or on, a road or highway. Jeffress’s proposal allows a single ear bud to remain.

Other states, like Oregon and Virginia, have similar, but less extreme, bills pending on this subject. Virginia’s bill would ban cyclists from using any hand-held communication device, such as cell phones or ipods.

Why take such extreme measures? Well, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA, pedestrian fatalities rose slightly within the first half of 2010. This is the first time it has risen in...
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