A bill proposed this week by Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D., Camden) would impose a fine of up to $50 and possibly 15 days in jail for pedestrians caught using their cellphones without hands-free devices while walking on public sidewalks and along roadways.
If the bill becomes law, “petextrians” – people who text while walking – would face the same penalties as jaywalkers in New Jersey.
“I see it every single day,” Lampitt said Friday. “Maybe they will think twice about it.” Since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 15 percent to 4,735 in 2013, the report said. Nearly two million pedestrian injuries were related to cellphone use, the report said.
Another study, from Safe Kids Worldwide, a Washington-based nonprofit, found that 40 percent of teens said they had been hit or nearly hit by a car, bike, or motorcycle while walking.
The survey of more than 1,000 children between ages 13 and 18 found that 47 percent of those who said they were hit or almost hit were listening to music, 20 percent were talking on the phone, and 18 percent were texting, researchers said.
In a world populated with idiots, the banning of risky behavior has its downside.