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Should Texting While Walking Be Illegal? In One Town, It Might Happen

posted: 02/06/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Using cellphone with defocused city - traffic lights.
iStock

 

Many states have adopted laws that make it illegal to text while driving. However, one New Jersey town is expanding its distracted user laws to walking while texting. So if a police officer catches you checking your social media, sending an email, or texting in the street, you could get slapped with a fine. So heads up and put your phone down.

Inspired by Honolulu, Hawaii's new law banning "distracted walking," pedestrians in Maplewood, NJ could be ticketed if a police officer sees them using their phone while crossing a road. While the proposal for the ban is still in the early stages, Maplewood, NJ Committeewoman Nancy Adams, who proposed the ban, is hopeful the new law will pass. "There are already laws on the books for driving while being distracted by a mobile device, and it's becoming more and more apparent with younger people like Generation Z ... that they need to look up and make sure that they can cross safely," Adams said.

It's not the first ban to cause a stir in Maplewood. Last year the city passed a ban on leaf blowers that upset residents. The texting while walking proposal has caused mixed reviews as well. While some residents feel like this is a step in the right direction to keep pedestrians safe, others feel this law crosses a line and will keep police distracted because they are dealing with people texting.

We want to know what you think. Tell us in the comments if towns should adopt a ban on texting while crossing the street or if you think this type of law is ridiculous.