We’ve all done it before. We want to get somewhere and suddenly our phone buzzes in our pocket, not wanting to seem rude we start texting back while walking along. This is done by hundreds, if not thousands, of people on a daily basis and I’ve got bad news if you live in New Jersey because this act could soon become illegal.
The “distracted walking” measure is being proposed by state assemblywoman, Pamela Lampitt, and could see anything that distracts you thanks to technology walking made illegal in New Jersey. It’s not the first time a law has targeted this issue, a bill that’s currently pending in Hawaii could see you fined $250 if you crossed the street with an electronic device in your hand, and this is just one of many proposed bills that could see people fined for being distracted from walking and moving in public while on their electric devices.
The law would see anyone who is caught walking while texting and stop people from walking near public roads with electronic communication devices in their hands. The punishment for this crime would be $50 or 15 days imprisonment, or even worse, both. This comes in at the same penalty as jaywalking and would see half the funds allocated to “safety education about the dangers of walking and texting”.
Is this too far? Some see it as the government trying to distract people from real issues but addressing small ones that could be fixed with better education regarding the dangers in the first place. Could the police catch you if you even broke the law? If you stopped and finished a text, could they still arrest you? We will have to see.