Could There Be a Texting While Walking Ban?

Emily Abbate

Texting while walkingCathy Cruz Marrero made headlines last month after she innocently stumbled into a mall fountain while walking and texting. Marrero, who was royally embarrassed once video of her fall went on national TV, is very much like you and me. While many of us aren't viral Internet sensations, a majority of us commit the same "crime" -- texting while walking -- every day.

New York State Sen. Carl Kruger hasn't backed down from his attack on all handheld devices used while walking. He wants to ban pedestrians from using cell phones, iPods, and other mobile devices when they are crossing the street.

Oh give me a break. Call me an extremist -- but I can't help but wonder what's next? Are they going to try and take away my freedom of speech, too? Like no talking at intersections?

I can't remember the last time that I walked from Grand Central Station to my office on Park Avenue without my phone in my hand. And while doing so, not once have I done anything as remotely idiotic as Marrero. (Sorry lady.) There's something to be said about being aware of your surroundings, especially in a busy area. Most of us understand the importance of following basic traffic procedures, and that the little lit-up pedestrian indeed means WALK.

Sure, I comprehend the safety precautions behind a bill like Senator Kruger's. He's looking out for the well-being of his constituents by attempting to eliminate a distraction. But we're all human, and we can make our own decisions. Walking through an intersection with a cell phone in hand is just as dangerous as walking while pondering over a bad day at the office or a recent breakup. There is just no way to guarantee a pedestrian's 100 percent attention and focus.

With all things considered, restricting cell phone use on the streets could ultimately be more detrimental than helpful, don't you think? Aside from the thought of not wanting my man to show up without condoms with bad takeout -- I can't help but ponder what this would mean for local law enforcement. Would police actually have time to hunt down technology abusers? I highly doubt it, making things on the streets even worse! Imagine people trying to walk successfully while attempting to hide their busy texting fingers? They'd be even more distracted! I can see it now: Must hide phone. Big Brother is watching.

What do you think? Should texting while walking be banned?

Image via Funkdooby/ Flickr

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