File under "Annals of the Ludicrous." A New Jersey town has outlawed texting while walking.
Pedestrians in Fort Lee, New Jersey will have to stop to text, following the passage of a new law that imposes $85 fines on walkers caught texting. Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas Ripoli cited numbers of pedestrian crashes to support the ban: Last year there were 74 crashes involving pedestrians; three pedestrians were killed this year, according to The Record's NorthJersey.com.
“It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” Ripoli said during an announcement of the ban.
Following a brief warning period, New Jersey police began issuing fines to distracted walkers near the end of March, with more than 117 violations recorded to date.
This sounds like an excuse to collect money from the citizenry. Sure, distracted walkers are getting into accidents and getting killed, but how is criminalizing it going to solve the problem? Oh, that's right. When we ban things as with alcohol or drugs, no one uses them anymore. Got it.