Do You Text While Walking? Bad News: It Could Soon Be Made Illegal

What a world

Urgh, aren’t all those people who walk along distractedly staring at their phones a bloody nuisance? Don’t you just want to shout ‘Look where you’re going, weasel!’

The problem is, those people are all of us.

The pavements are packed with humans hunched over their handheld devices while walking. Looking not at where they’re going but at what’s going down on Instagram. This is all of us, every day. And it’s actually kind of hazardous…

If we’re being generous we could say we’re multi-tasking – negotiating pavement traffic whilst also responding to urgent emails and the 57 messages that flooded our ‘besties’ whatsapp group while we were on the tube. We are being a modern human, duh.

If we’re being critical we could say we’re all being dicey – distractedly ambling along, bumping in to each other, and causing traffic to screech to a hault when we forget to look both ways. We’re phubbing real life (snubbing it in favour of our mobile phones), and that’s when accidents happen, when are brains are trying to switch back and forth between two important things simultaneously.

BT.com reports that accidents caused by distracted pedestrians have gone up by 5 in the US since 2010. And this is one of the reasons politicians in the US state of New Jersery are considering a ban on texting while walking.

The US politicians are proposing fines of $50 (£35), 15 days in jail, or both to those found guilty of texting while walking. They’re not messing around.

In the UK, if you are caught texting while driving, the minimum penalty is a fine and at least three points on your licence. Should a similar deterrent be introduced for texting and walking?

Whilst every fibre of us is shouting ‘No, that’s completely ridiculous’. We’re aware that people probably had a similar reaction in the 60s when the drink-drive limit was first introduced…

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