Walkers Who Text Deserve to Be Ticketed (VIDEO)

woman textingRemember the lady who walked off the pier, because she was so distracted by walking and texting? Yup, she had to be rescued from the choppy waters of Lake Michigan and soon became nationwide news. So ridiculous! Unfortunately, we all know that lady is not alone in her idiocy. Plenty of people continue to take to the streets while staring down at their smartphones, putting both their own and drivers' lives at risk.

So some authorities have had enough and are cracking down -- by ticketing texting walkers! Cops in Fort Lee, New Jersey (a highly trafficked town right by the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan) have been handing out $54 jaywalking tickets to 117 pedestrians who they've caught texting and jaywalking at the same time. And the police chief sounds pretty self-assured of his decision to keep it up.

He calls texting while walking "a big distraction. Pedestrians aren't watching where they are going, and they are not aware." And the move isn't just preemptive -- it's a reaction to a worrisome trend. Already three pedestrians have been killed this year in car accidents in the area. I'm pretty sure these incidents aren't unique to Fort Lee. They're a growing issue all across the country.

More from The Stir: New Cars That Read Texts Out Loud Could Save Your Life

A recent study even found that texters are 60 percent more likely to "veer cluelessly off their route" than non-texters, so obviously, they're more likely to get into danger. So why shouldn't they have to pay for their irresponsible behavior?

Of course I get how tempting it can be to start multi-tasking, scrolling through emails and texts as you're waiting at an intersection, but the minute the white pedestrian sign flashes and you head into the street, it's a whole new ballgame. Those who refuse to believe so and think they can somehow still be well aware of what's going on around them are being totally dense. They deserve to be slapped with a ticket for their infraction. It's not only in the public's best interest, but their own.

Here's the local news story out of Greater NYC ...

What's your take -- is a ticket for texting and walking going too far or perfectly legit?

 

Image via Jhaymesisviphotography/Flickr

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Lokis... LokisMama

Unless they're being observed walking in front of traffic or something.  If you're stupid enough to walk off a pier or infront of a bus because you're texting, you deserve anything you get.

Jessica McIntire

I am totally for it. Most people cannot multitask as well as they think obviously from these videos.

curio... curious1145

This may be going too far. I'm confused though. Neither the article or the video actually says that there is a law in Fort Lee,NJ prohibiting texting while walking, so it seems like they're just giving tickets because they feel like it. They are giving jaywalking tickets obviously because there is currently no law against texting and walking. I really don't get it. So before we can even get into a debate on whether such a law should exist, we need to address why this municipality thinks they can just give people tickets for being distracted while walking.

nonmember avatar Liz

I think it's a great idea. Even if you're willing to put your life in danger to text while walking around busy streets, it's not fair to the other people involved. I'd hate to think of someone swerving to avoid a pedestrian who isn't paying attention, just to drive into oncoming traffic. It's like texting while driving. No text is so important that it can't wait. And if you really believe it is, stop walking for the 20 seconds it takes to type out and send.

nonmember avatar A

These are the same kinds of idiots that go the wrong way in traffic. Some people just suck at life.

nonmember avatar Liz

curious- If they're jaywalking because they're not paying attention due to texting, then they deserve the ticket anyway. I doubt they'd get away with giving out jaywalking tickets to people who weren't jaywalking, although they may be targeting people who are texting while jaywalking.

dirti... dirtiekittie

No, there is not a law against walking & texting.


The tickets given were all to those were *jaywalking*, NOT just for texting.


You can find an update here: http://www.technolog.msnbc.msn.com/technology/technolog/new-jersey-towns-police-chief-no-we-didnt-ban-texting-770903


And the cop is quoted as saying: Ripoli, who'd been fielding calls from all over the world, says that discussion of his town's pedestrian safety was somehow taken out of context and that "things got out of hand." Folks who are texting while walking in Fort Lee are indeed issued a $54 jaywalking ticket ... but only if they also happen to be jaywalking at the same time.

Gilmo... GilmoreGirl29

I'm all for it... These people are the same people who will walk out in traffic, get hit by a car, then sue the driver. Something has to be done, laws need to be put in place. Texting while walking/driving has to be more dangerous than talking on your phone, and there are laws about that.

navyw... navywife0204

So, what's next?  walking while chewing gum?  Really?  in the video, they not only had the guy texting, they had his head covered.

forev... foreverabuff

Are you people serious?! This is absurd! Absolutely NOT should texting and walking be illegal! However, I do think that if someone causes an accident or something while texting/talking on the phone then perhaps they should be issued a ticket for allowing themself to be distracted. But to ban ALL people from texting and walking? Like the person above me said, what's next?

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