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Dead Man Walking – Are you a pe-text-rian?
Dead Man Walking?
If you are a pe-text-rian reading this blog while walking, put down your phone as distracted walking is a real threat to your wellbeing.
Between texting, listening to music with earbuds and Internet surfing, walkers can easily be distracted while entering or attempting to cross a busy intersection which can not only result in injury but death. Plus, it can also cost you.
Cities are imposing fines for pedestrians who are texting while walking or lowering speed limits. Take Honolulu, Hawaii. It is illegal for a pedestrian of any age to be looking at a screen while crossing the street. Fines start at $15 and go as high as $99 for a third-time offense in the same year.
Fort Lee, NJ followed suit and implemented a ban against dangerous walking that includes texting while walking. Fines issued to Fort Lee’s distracted walkers are $85.
The town of Montclair, Calif. recently took it one step further and passed a law last January making it illegal to talk, text or have earbuds plugged into your phone when crossing the street. For first time offenses, people will be given a warning. After that, the fine is $100 and can be as much as $500 for repeat offenses.
Text walking lanes have been created in Washington D.C., Chongqing, China and Antwerp, Belgium.
Slower speeds give motorists more time to react to prevent an accident when a distracted pedestrian walks in front of their vehicle. Still, the best way to avoid these accidents is for pedestrians to keep a proper lookout and stay off their phones.
Distracted walking incidents are on the rise, and everyone with a cell phone is at risk. According to a Governors Highway Safety Association report, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were struck and killed by motor vehicles in 2017. This number mirrors 2016 fatalities. Total pedestrian deaths in 2016, both traffic- and nontraffic-related, were 7,330, according to Injury Facts.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call (203) 332-7700.