Nevada Assemblyman Harvey Munford is concerned about all of the people he has seen texting while walking. And why shouldn’t he be? I mean, people are walking off piers left and right. Apparently, he’s been on the lookout for the dangerous practice since a constituent brought it to his attention last year.
“I was just amazed by what I saw,” he said. “So many people are almost oblivious. They are texting and texting, totally unaware as they cross even six-lane highways.”
Not wanting to leave it to natural selection to sort everything out, Munford has proposed Assembly Bill 123, which will outlaw texting and walking pretty much everywhere in the state. That means texting while walking on urban streets, state roads, and even out in the suburbs would be met with a penalty.
That penalty would start with a warning and increase to a $250 fine by the time the violator receives their third citation.
The only exceptions to the statute would allow for people to text while walking across the road in two specific situations – either a medical emergency or the reporting of a crime.
Reporting to your friend Ashley that whatever Taylor was wearing at the club last night was a “fashion crime” will not be exempted.
Munford is following in the trailblazing footsteps of officials in Fort Lee, New Jersey. In May of 2012, that town of just over 35,000 began to ticket “distracted walkers.” Before resorting to fines, Fort Lee tried reasoning with the population by issuing pedestrian safety messages. That didn’t work, so they started giving summons to those caught texting while crossing the street.
Fines for texting while walking may seem a bit dramatic to some. Maybe we should try texting “e-lanes,” jokingly proposed by Philadelphia last year?
Or, as previously suggested, maybe just let it work itself out.