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NY Senator Wants to Ban Texting While Walking

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January 27, 2011

NY Senator Wants to Ban Texting While Walking

By Stefanie Mosca, TMCnet Managing Editor

We’ve all heard of the typical activities that are frowned upon when throwing a cell phone into the mix; don’t talk on the phone while driving, don’t text while driving, stop drunk-dialing. But now, a New York Senator is trying to push a law that is sure to raise some eyebrows since it involves more of an unavoidable task: walking.

According to the Yahoo News, if passed, a bill introduced by Senator Carl Kruger would make it illegal to use your cell phone or any other electronic device while crossing the street in New York. That means no calling, no texting, no scrolling through your emails or playing with your iPod when walking from one busy New York street to the next.

Some cell phone users might argue that this ban is unreasonable, however, in a city where a large percentage of people’s transportation is by foot, the claim Senator Kruger is trying to make is actually a valid one.  After many complaints and witnessing such instances for himself, he has decided to try to make this effort a reality.

"You can't be fully aware of your surroundings if you're fiddling with a Blackberry, dialing a phone number, playing Super Mario Brothers on a Game Boy or listening to music on an iPod," Kruger said on his website.

This isn’t the first instance of a lawmaker trying to put such a rule in play. Just this week a bill that Arkansas State Senator Jimmy Jeffress tried to get passed was pulled. Senator Jeffress tried to ban pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears when walking on the street or riding a bike, however, his proposal wasn’t successful.

If the law is indeed passed, pedestrians may not be happy when they are fined $100 while using an electronic device and crossing the street.  But the statistics don’t lie. Whether you are in a car or walking down the street, using a mobile device requires an amount of concentration that can wind up distracting you from the more important task at hand, which in this case involves the user’s safety.

Some may argue that they have the ability to multi-task, but that isn’t always true for others. This law comes at a coincidental time after earlier this month a Pennsylvania woman who walked into a fountain while texting at the mall became the butt of everyone’s joke. The video went viral in just two days and the woman, now known as the Fountain Lady, will have the YouTube (News - Alert) video and publicity to embarrass her until the next 30 second video hits the web.  

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Stefanie Mosca is a Web editor for TMCnet. Previously she worked as a freelance copy editor for Digital Surgeons LLC. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University and a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of New Haven. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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