New Yorkers may soon have to be a bit more vigilant of their actions while crossing the street, keeping their eyes up and away from their phones.
The new bill is currently in the New York State Senate and is seeking to ban “a pedestrian from using a portable electronic device while crossing a roadway.” Under the legislation, those who violate the ban can be fined anywhere from $25 to $50 for a first time offense. Second time offenders within an eight month period would be fined between $50 and $100, and a third violation within the same timeframe can be fined up to $250.
Texting has become a cause for concern in pedestrian dense areas, so much so that “distracted walking” injuries has recently become a category for the National Safety Council. According to the group, there were only about 500 injuries in this category in 2000 and up to more than 2,000 injuries in 2011. The bill’s justification goes on to explain that the number has only increased since, with “most accidents and traffic deaths [taking] place in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. These areas are known for having the most amounts of pedestrian accidents.” It was also found that teens between the ages of 15 and 19 account for roughly 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities among those who are younger than 19.
No decision has been made yet, but if passed it would go into effect immediately.
Also published on Medium.