PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Look around. We all do it: texting while walking.
“All my friends are on the phone all the time. Even my parents are on the phone all the time now,” says Natalie Fitzgerald of Oakland.
And, of course, if you’re looking down at your phone, accidents are bound to happen.
“There’s a couple bumps sometimes. Hasn’t happened to me too frequently, but it depends how in depth you are into your texting I guess,” admits Alyson Laukaitis of Oakland.
The risk of injury is even worse if you are texting while crossing a street, and yet many do it.
“They’ll text in the crosswalks and not even give it a second thought, and it’s hard to look both ways especially with bus lanes. It’s dangerous,” says Taylor Barber of Oakland.
“Texting and walking across the crosswalk can be dangerous because sometimes you have cars that don’t pay attention to the walk signs,” adds Jared Aiello of Brookline.
Now a New Jersey legislator says since 2010, across the nation, there’s been a 35 percent increase in accidents related to pedestrians distracted by their electronic devices.
In a statement to KDKA political editor Jon Delano, Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt says she’s introduced a bill to reduce that, noting “An individual crossing the road distracted by their smartphone presents just as much danger to motorists as someone jaywalking and should be held, at minimum, to the same penalty. This is exactly what my legislation does.”
Under the proposed bill, texting while in the middle of the street or in a cross walk could subject you to a fifty dollar fine and maybe even 15 days in jail.
While many like the idea, there’s one big question.
“I think it’s a good idea but maybe a little bit hard to enforce,” adds Barber.
And, so far, no legislator in Pennsylvania has introduced a similar bill.