Distracted Walking Laws

Smartphones are an increasing danger to pedestrians as people look at their screens without being aware of their surroundings. Read on to learn more.

People have found themselves stepping out into traffic that is oncoming. Obviously, this provides an increase risk, therefore, certain cities have started passing laws against walking when distracted with the purpose of reducing the use of smart phones, texting and ear buds when at cross walks. Read on to learn more.

Many say this is the government interfering to a large degree in the lives of private individuals, but the law is not disturbing the freedom of anyone but has its base in the precautions that are needed to maintain public safety.

Two US cities, Honolulu and Montclair, CA, now have laws regarding distracted behaviors when they cross public roadways. The laws went into effect at the outset of 2018 and the law in Montclair, CA states: “No pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while engaged in a phone call, viewing a mobile electronic device or with both ears covered or obstructed by personal audio equipment.”

One popular counterargument is the fact that a pedestrian who is following the law when they use a crosswalk should not have to be concerned regarding cars. However, it must be common sense not to use mobile devices or headphones when people are crossing the street. Obviously if people are distracted the risk of an accident increases.

The new law may be replaced in the same degree of categorization as hands-free cell phone laws as well as bike helmet laws and seat belt laws. The government is looking out for the safety of the public and well being in cases when individual members of the public lack the common sense to consider the situation they are in when they are out and about.

Many people ask, “Who does it hurt?” It is true no one is harmed by having a single earbud out and looking where they are traveling when they cross over an intersection.

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