Texting and walking could soon be criminal offence in one US state
In a bid to reduce the amount of accidents caused by preoccupied phone users, New Jersey could make walking and texting illegal.
As smartphones become more popular, they throw up new problems. In the UK, if you are caught texting while driving, the minimum penalty is a fine and at least three points on your licence. Now politicians in the US want to tackle the problem of texting and walking.
Since 2010 there has been a 35% increase in accidents caused by distracted pedestrians in the US.
New Jersey politicians have put forward a bill proposing fines of £35 ($50), 15 days in jail, or both, to those caught texting while walking.
Democratic Assembly member Pamela Lampitt, who introduced the bill, told CBS New York it was about keeping people safe on the road: “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.”
The suggested fine and jail time is similar to the punishment given to jaywalkers.
We recently wrote about another, less drastic solution, Urban Periscope, a smartphone case with an integrated periscope allowing you to walk and text, while still being able to see a 90-degree view of the road ahead.