Proposed legislation could fine those texting while walking in New York

Proposed legislation could fine those texting while walking in New York
While drivers in New York cannot text while behind the wheel, the New York State Senate is working on legislation (via USA Today) that would ticket pedestrians crossing through a roadway while using their phone. The bill (S5746) was first proposed by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) and gained support from State Senator John C. Liu; first offenders could be fined $25 to $50.

The bill says that "No pedestrian shall cross a roadway at any point while using any portable electronic device," and notes that "It has been proven that distraction from texting while walking can cause pedestrians to cross roads very unsafely." It also points to data from the National Safety Council that says teenage pedestrians are more likely to be hit by a car than younger children because of distractions caused by viewing their smartphone. Back in 1995, before the smartphone revolution, children aged 5 to 9 were more apt to be hit by a car while walking than teens.

The New York bill is currently in the Transportation Committee. The chairman of the Committee, Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo), called it "an overreach of government." If the bill gets voted out of Committee, it moves to the State Senate for another vote. If S5746 survives that chamber, it moves to the Governor's desk to be signed or vetoed.

The city of Honolulu has had a law on its books since 2017 that bans pedestrians from using their phones at a crosswalk. Fines range from $15 to as high as $99 depending on the number of times a pedestrian in the city has been busted for the offense. Another city with a similar law is Montclair, California.

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11 Comments

1. RGreen

Posts: 82; Member since: Jul 06, 2012

Not good for New Yorkers, what's next? No abortions!

4. Xxtoxicskittlexx

Posts: 160; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

Have you seen people in Manhattan during lunch time?? They cross the roads like zombies on their phones. Good for this legislation.

2. Fred3

Posts: 389; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

That's basically everyone in NY. Are they going to fine kids too? This reminds me of that stop and frisk law in NY. Next they're going to have a law to where Cops can just walk in your house without a warrant or cause

10. oldskool50

Posts: 711; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

What you said is completely stupid. It just is. Maybe this issue isn't a problem where you live, but it is in every major city.

3. blac.inc

Posts: 59; Member since: May 16, 2018

I see this a lot in my area (college town) and people have literally walked in front of my moving car, not even at a crosswalk, while looking down at their phone. Then looks up and gets mad at me because I almost hit them.

5. tangbunna

Posts: 457; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

soon will also fine using facebook/twitter/instagram/youtube when walking

6. Leo_MC

Posts: 6616; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The title is misleading: the bill is not for texting while walking, it is for texting while crossing the street.

7. tokuzumi

Posts: 1818; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Distracted users on their phones are the same, possibly even worse, than drunk people.

8. JCASS889

Posts: 462; Member since: May 18, 2018

It's been proven that they are in fact worse than drunk drivers.

9. oldskool50

Posts: 711; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Good! I hope it happens everywhere. I get so sick of peopel crossing the street are so into they phone they walk too slow and then the light changes and we get stuck at lights because they wanna play with their phones. So many times I have rolled down the window and yell at fools telling them, get the hell out the street; you can play with your frikkin phone when you get out the street. It's gotten to a point it really pisses me off and others too be blowing their horns at fools who can't cross the street within a reasonable amount of time because they wanna play with their phones. I am hoping one day someone gets impatient and just runs the the hell over. It will be exactly what they deserve. or someone gets out and snatches their phone and smashes it on the ground. I've been tempted to do both many times, because it just gettign out of hand.

11. JRPG_Guy

Posts: 122; Member since: Jan 13, 2019

I'm not against his even though I text and walk

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