Jul 26, 2014

Poll: Should Distracted Walkers Be Fined?

Texting and talking while walking is becoming increasingly common as smart phones never leave our hands.

Poll: Should Distracted Walkers Be Fined?

We’ve all seen the man or woman texting on a cell phone, then suddenly trip over an unexpected curb. Or maybe we were that man or woman.

Reported injuries from distracted walking that result in hospital emergency room visits have more than quadrupled in the past seven years, reported the Associated Press.

City and transportation officials across the country have labeled distracted walking as a serious public safety issue that needs addressing.

Salt Lake City pedestrians face a $50 fine for using cellphones, headphones and other distracting electronic devices while crossing the light rail tracks, the Utah Transit Authority decided.

However, cities in Arkansas, Illinois and New York have unsuccessfully tried to pass distracted walking bills.

When laws don’t work, cities get creative. As an April Fool's Day joke, Philadelphia officials taped off an "e-lane" for distracted pedestrians on a sidewalk outside downtown office buildings. But people were so serious about their electronics that they didn’t realize it was a joke.

What are your thoughts on distracted walking? Are bills and fines limiting our freedom to communicate and walk as we please? Or is this a serious safety issue that we need to address?

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