Assemblywomen in New Jersey are putting forth a bill that would ultimately ban NJ residents (or anyone for that matter) from walking and texting at the same time due to safety issues. This has been a known cause of quite some injuries to a lot of people who have tripped, walked into stuff, and even got run over by a car. Pamela Lampitt, one of the assemblywomen who want to push this bill, is totally against using any electronic communication device while walking down a street or sidewalk unless it’s hands-free. She also believes that violators of the proposed bill should be charged the same as jaywalkers.
“Distracted pedestrians, like distracted drivers, present a potential danger to themselves and drivers on the road,” Lampitt said. “An individual crossing the road distracted by their smartphone presents just as much danger to motorists as someone jaywalking and should be held, at minimum, to the same penalty.”
The current penalty for jaywalking is a fine for up to $50, 15 days imprisonment, or both. So if this bill is passed and you’re caught texting your friends another vacation picture on your new Galaxy S7 while walking down 40th street in Ocean City in the Garden State, you could be sent to the Big House for more than two weeks. Yeah, it’s that serious.
A National Safety Council study has found that 11,101 injuries have been caused by walking and texting from 2000 to 2011. A majority of the ones injured were women 40 and under, with talking on the phone being the main distraction and 12% being texting. Nearly 80% of the injuries occurred as the result of a fall, while 9% occurred from the pedestrian striking a motionless object. Dislocations or fractures, sprains or strains and concussions or contusions are the most common injuries.
As of now, no hearing has been scheduled to discuss this new motion in New Jersey, however we expect something out of this case within the next week. We’ll update this post if any more information needs to be shared.