Highland Park Personal Injury Lawyers discuss Proposed New Jersey Law Would Outlaw Texting While Walking
A New Jersey assemblywoman has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to send and receive text messages while walking on public streets, sidewalks and thoroughfares. Paula Lampitt says she was motivated to propose the law in the aftermath of the death of a University of Pennsylvania student, who was struck and killed by a bus when he walked into its path while texting.
In Lampitt’s opinion, texting while walking is no different from jaywalking, and poses danger not only to the person engaged in the action, but to others as well. She noted that other pedestrians and motorists could be at risk of serious injury, should a driver have to take evasive action to avoid a pedestrian who unexpectedly wanders in front of a car.
In submitting the proposed law, Lampitt cited research from Dr. Corey Basch, of William Patterson University. Dr. Basch conducted a study, looking at more than 21,000 pedestrian crosswalk injury cases. He found that nearly half of all pedestrians injured while crossing the road on a “Don’t Walk” sign had on headphones or were distracted by a handheld device. In fact, even when pedestrians had the green light to walk, almost a third of those who were injured were on a cell phone or similar device.
A similar study by the Pew Charitable Trust, conducted in 2012, found that mobile phones and handheld devices were involved in approximately 10% of all pedestrian accidents.
The bill, if passed and signed by the governor, would impose a fine and potential jail time for anyone convicted.
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