Pedestrians in New Jersey may legally have to look where the hell they’re going as politicians are considering a ban on texting while walking.
Let’s face it, most of us have walked into something – or someone – while in our own little world staring down at our phones and last year a university in Utah introduced special ‘texting lanes’ on its campus.
However it could soon be a criminal offence, as the state has proposed fining people $50 (£35) if they text while walking and even a possible 15 days in jail, reports RT.com.
Pedestrians in many U.S states are already banned from crossing the road except at specified points – those who cross where they please are ‘jaywalking’.
The new bill – which is yet to be voted on – is being sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, who said:
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 penalise risky behaviour.
Reports show that since 2010 there has been an increase of 35 per cent across the U.S in accidents related to distracted pedestrians – roughly matching when smartphones became widely used.
Back in 2008 Brick Lane in London took a slightly different approach to distracted pedestrians when padded lampposts were introduced to prevent some of the millions of injuries in the UK that happen from walking and texting.
It seems like the new ‘law’ could be pretty difficult to enforce but who knows – if the trial is successful in the U.S could it be rolled out over here too?