In 11 years alone, there have been over 10,000 injuries related to pedestrians and cyclists that were texting while walking or operating a bicycle on public roads. As technology continues to evolve and smart-phones (and smartwatches) are used more and more frequently, the likelihood that more injuries will arise as a result of such unarguably risky behavior becomes a more sustainable reality.
People that are texting, talking, or listening to music on their phones while walking and navigating streets are putting not only their lives in danger, but also the lives around them. In fact, according to a recent attempt for a bill-pass by New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, those that combine texting and walking while using electronic devices could face penalties up into the thousands of dollars—and even risk being sentenced to up to 15 days in prison!
While Lampitt’s bill is meant to minimize such personal device usage and reckless behavior, her exception on allowing such behavior if they’re using wireless technology—such as Bluetooth—is equally questionable. That is, if someone is having a conversation, music, or toggling Bluetooth buttons while walking or driving a bicycle they could just as easily be in, or cause an accident.
According to statistics, 80% of relevant accidents are due to falls, while the remainder are related to individuals running into and acquiring injuries from hitting inanimate objects or stationary objects—such as poles, curbs, and traffic signs, while distracted and texting on their mobile devices.
Although similar bills have been attempted in places like Arkansas and New York, outside of Hawaii, New Jersey will be the nearly second state that could actually apply such a law and rule effectively, as other states have seemingly failed to do so.
There is questionably a great challenge for law enforcement officials to enforce such a law or bill in any state, as they are typically already involved with or preoccupied in monitoring and engaging other traffic and law violators on a regular basis. That is, especially in high crime places, such as New Jersey for example, which has extraordinary levels of violent criminals and deviant behaviors in locations like Trenton, Camden, or Atlantic City (New Jersey).
Although many citizens and fellow bill-makers might argue that the purpose and application of such a law is fruitless, statistics reflecting such related injuries continue to climb. Even if this law attempt by Lampitt doesn’t pass, it’s probable to anticipate additional bills will be attempted in various states across the nation, to promote recidivism of such injuries and reckless behaviors.
Although many people in the general public—and legal experts alike—claim “overreach” in such a bill-passing, it doesn’t deplete the authenticity of the matter at hand. Should the general public not ‘clean up their act’, it’s understandable why lawmakers and politicians alike would continue to attempt to explore and pass such bills—for the sake of greater public safety, efficacy, and social risks or dangers associated with such behaviors in today’s busy, bustling, everyday metropolitan environments.
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