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Poll: Should Distracted Walkers Be Fined?

Texting and talking while walking is becoming increasingly common as smart phones never leave our hands.

We’ve all seen the man or woman texting on a cell phone, then suddenly trip over an unexpected curb. Or maybe we were that man or woman.

Reported injuries from distracted walking that result in hospital emergency room visits have more than quadrupled in the past seven years, reported the Associated Press.

City and transportation officials across the country have labeled distracted walking as a serious public safety issue that needs addressing.

Salt Lake City pedestrians face a $50 fine for using cellphones, headphones and other distracting electronic devices while crossing the light rail tracks, the Utah Transit Authority decided.

However, cities in Arkansas, Illinois and New York have unsuccessfully tried to pass distracted walking bills.

When laws don’t work, cities get creative. As an April Fool's Day joke, Philadelphia officials taped off an "e-lane" for distracted pedestrians on a sidewalk outside downtown office buildings. But people were so serious about their electronics that they didn’t realize it was a joke.

What are your thoughts on distracted walking? Are bills and fines limiting our freedom to communicate and walk as we please? Or is this a serious safety issue that we need to address?

Bryon Wright August 16, 2012 at 05:58 PM
sense is neither common, or makes sense since societal/cultural rules for different societies can turn what we see as 'distracted' into simply paying attention to other things for other people. I am in no way supportive of electronic disassociation with reality as I no longer own a cellphone and no one but those who care actually make the effort to call and leave a message now.
Bryon Wright August 16, 2012 at 06:01 PM
When I am walking on campus and see a distracted walker, I stop and let them walk into me. I will sometimes off the occasional witty quip but typically not. While driving and I see someone texting, I honk my horn. if they drop their phone it's their problem but at least I saved them from getting hit.
Bryon Wright August 16, 2012 at 06:06 PM
the world would be a better place without warning labels and nanny laws and it would certainly turn the political landscape around if those stupid enough to actually do the things these means are meant to protect against, then we'd have a remaining population of people who were self-aware, can multi-task and intelligent enough to see that doing something will result in injury or death.
Bryon Wright August 16, 2012 at 06:10 PM
lift some weights, make your body like iron and if someone is walking towards you, take a defensive stance and wait for them to either walk into you or, get mad and be forced to walk around since your presence so clearly isn't allowed. I do this every moment I get and people either get injured or get mad but either way, it is entirely their fault. I then pretend to be deaf and smile when they get huffy, it works well.
Alan Dale Brown August 16, 2012 at 06:15 PM
What's worse - someone who's a bit too self-absorbed in what they're doing, and risks causing an accident? Or someone who injects themselves into the situation, and makes sure an incident happens! Ha-ha-ha - what a perfect time to make a witty comment! I'm sure everyone is impressed with this cleverness!

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