We’ve all laughed, or at least some of us have, when we've seen the man or woman texting on a cell phone, then suddenly trip over an unexpected curb. But it isn't always funny. In a story on this problem reported by the Redwood City-Woodside Patch back in the summer, it was reported that injuries from distracted walking resulted in emergency room visits more than quadrupling in the past seven years.
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 and Philidelphia and a New Jersey city banned texting while walking. Other cities in Arkansas, Illinois and New York, however, have unsuccessfully tried to pass distracted walking bills. The Redwood-Woodside Patch reported on an April Fool's Day joke last year that had Philadelphia officials taping off a e-lane for distracted pedestrians using electronics. People didn't realize it was a joke.
Are bills and fines banning communicating while walking in a public place necessary for our own good or too limiting on our freedoms?