We’ve written about the dangers of texting and driving, but what fewer people recognize are the dangers that texting holds for pedestrians, who share the streets and sidewalks with other pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, trucks and other vehicles.
One town in New Jersey’s Bergen County is implementing a no texting while jaywalking policy after the community ad three fatalities and 23 people injured in a three-month period. Fort Lee authorities hope fining those on foot who disobey traffic laws while texting will lead to a decline in pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities. Now if you decide to text while crossing the street in Fort Lee it can cost you an $85 fine. So far, more than 117 tickets have been issued, and those officers are on the lookout for walkers busily typing away on their phones.
Pedestrians distracted by technology have become a big problem in Fort Lee, according to Police Chief Thomas Ripoli. “They’re not walking in the crosswalks. They’re walking against the red light, and they’re being struck by vehicles.”
Though the no texting while jaywalking policy has so far only been implemented in Fort Lee, it would not surprise us if spreads to surrounding areas, including New York City and towns on Long Island.