The practical consequences of mindlessly using your phone while walking down the street are pretty obvious, not to mention life-threatening. Yet so many of us end up doing it, repeatedly.
Well, if the prospect of getting hit by a car doesn’t put you off, perhaps a jail sentence will. That’s what the state of New Jersey is mulling with the introduction of a new bill that will make it illegal for people to text while walking.
The bill calls for a fine of up to $50, 15 days behind bars, or both, for people who are caught in the act, reports CBS2.
“If a person on the road — whether walking or driving — presents a risk to others on the road, there should be a law in place to dissuade and penalize risky behavior,” Democratic Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, who sponsored the bill, told the broadcaster.
Public opinion on the bill is decidedly more mixed compared to Lampitt’s view, with locals expressing the need for more awareness about the dangers of using a smartphone while walking.
Yet the perils of distracted walking, as it is often referred to, are becoming increasingly evident. Accidents related to the act have risen 35 percent since 2010, according to CBS2.
Additionally, we are all well aware of the threats posed by texting and walking, according to a study conducted last year. The research from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons revealed that 78 percent of American adults now regard distracted walking as a “serious” issue. However, only 29 percent of respondents actually claimed that they did it themselves.
If the proposed New Jersey bill is passed, we will have no option but to own up to, and face the consequences of, our actions.