In an effort to rectify the dangers of texting-induced distractions, officials in Fort Lee, New Jersey, have implemented a citywide ban on pedestrians who are caught texting while walking. The offense carries an $85 fine; a hefty monetary consequence to pay for sending an oftentimes one word response.
Fort Lee’s population is 32,000 strong and since implementing the law, the city has already issued 117 tickets. The concept isn’t anything new. Many cities have considered preventative laws to curb pedestrian distraction but Fort Lee — with the exception of Philadelphia’s campaign in which distracted pedestrians were issued warnings — is the first and only city to actually go through with it.
Many are calling the law ridiculous and are beginning to question law enforcement’s priorities. Unlike bans that deter driving while texting, a ban on walking while texting is being labeled both silly and unnecessary. No one is saying that distracted pedestrian aren’t a problem but this ban seems like anything but a solution.