Texting while walking now illegal in New Jersey? Not quite. We want to clear the air with some quick facts.
So, let’s get this straight. The reality train wreck infamously know as Jersey Shore? Acceptable. Texting while walking? Not so much. New Jersey lawmakers have recently proposed a new bill that would impose up to a $50 fine, or even worse, 15 days in jail for this cardinal sin: texting while walking *gasp*. Apparently, Chris Christie and his cohorts are sick of bumping into rapid messaging teens. Although pushing your way past pedestrians thumbs deep in a text conversation can get annoying, we think this new proposition is a bit dramatic.
This actually means; technically speaking, if you look down at your phone – even ONCE, while walking in New Jersey … the cuffs are going on.
Do you think that’s reasonable? Sure, we’ve been in the text marketing game for a while, so we might be a bit bias, but this ban seems a bit unrealistic.
Here’s the Facts
Democratic assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, one of the bill’s sponsors, says that this law is meant to discourage pedestrians and drivers from committing unsafe behavior. Lampitt suggests, “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.”
Here’s some facts she used to back up her case.
- Injuries involving pedestrians and cellphones more than doubled between 2005 and 2010.
- 32 pedestrians last year were killed in distracted related accidents.
- 70% of people in the United States admit to texting while walking.
- A study published in the medical journal PLOS One suggests that text messaging while walking drastically affects balance.
- Since 2009, pedestrian deaths have increased by 15%; averaging out to one death every two hours.
What the Locals Think
Locals aren’t too thrilled. “I think it’s a pretty silly thing. All the problems we have in the world, we have to worry about somebody walking down the street texting. Maybe some of these politicians should worry about real problems we have in New Jersey,” citizens complained.
Will This Be Effective Anytime Soon?
Not likely. This bill was introduced to the New Jersey State Assembly on Monday, and so far, it has no sponsors. Not really a surprise, right?
P.S. This isn’t the first time a law like this has been proposed. Similar bans didn’t quite make it past the cutting room floor in New York, Arkansas, and Nevada.