Charlotte Hannah
May 14, 2012

Texting While Walking Banned in Fort Lee, N.J.

It’s common knowledge that texting while behind the wheel distracts a driver and slows reaction time. Because of this, most jurisdictions have laws in place to prosecute those who choose to shift their gaze from the road to the screen. But now, legislators in New Jersey have decided to take those laws a step further and crack down on another texting-related menace: texting pedestrians.

In Fort Lee, New Jersey, those who are caught texting and walking may find themselves getting written up, to the tune of $85. It’s a lot of money for a seemingly minor offense, but legislators say it’s necessary.

Chief Thomas Ripoli of the Fort Lee Police Department explains the new law, saying, “It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware.”

Unfortunately the chief did not say whether or not, once this law is firmly in place, the city would set its sights on folks who read, eat, wear dark sunglasses, or look at the scenery while they enjoy an evening stroll – not to mention those who have eyesight or balance problems that may impede their ability to walk in a straight line.

According to the New Jersey Record, thus far more than 117 tickets have been handed out to these so-called ‘dangerous walkers’. I’m glad to hear that the sidewalks in Fort Lee are now safe.