New York’s state Senate has introduced a bill to ban texting while walking. No one can do two things at the same time. However, in today’s world of smartphones people have mastered the art of walking and texting simultaneously. They feel prompt action is necessary to check each e-mail or reply to any chat even though they're on the move. While texting, the fingers are busy on the keypad. Such actions can lead to minor mishaps like a collision with obstacles, with other people and even with moving vehicles.

It is a natural fallout of not paying attention to the surroundings.

The Guardian reports that once the bill passes into law, individuals caught “using a portable electronic device while crossing a roadway” in New York City might have to pay fines ranging from $25 to $250 once apprehended by the police. The intention is to penalize daredevils for their reckless behavior. Some people associated with emergency services like medical or fire departments would be exempt.

Texting while walking could be fatal

New York State witnesses nearly 300 pedestrian fatalities every year.

There are no statistics on how many of these resulted from a pedestrian not looking where he was going. John Liu, New York state senator, introduced the bill. His intention is to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities. He clarified that the bill does not ban talking on the phone. The point is, one can always respond, but only when one is on safe ground. In his words: “We’re talking about handheld devices … you can wait the five seconds to get to the other side.”

The Guardian adds that critics feel such a bill could create complications.

Marco Conner, one of its critics, describes it as a “terribly misguided bill.” In his opinion, drivers are responsible for the majority of traffic fatalities nationwide. However, one who is texting while on the road must not lose sight of his bearings. That will help to prevent mishaps.

It is a good initiative

According to The Cut, New York City is congested. It has problems with traffic congestion and packed sidewalks when people have to walk at a snail’s pace. The city leaders are toying with a new concept of imposing fines on those who are texting while walking.

It is undoubtedly a positive gesture to ensure that people pay attention to their surroundings while crossing the street. The fear of fines could prove to be a deterrent.

Incidentally, Honolulu had similar plans to impose fines of up to $99 on those who text while walking. It is all about safety on the road. There is no doubt that smartphones are indispensable today. They have become an inseparable part of our lives. We use them while driving and even while walking and these are unsafe acts because no one can concentrate on multiple activities at the same time.

It can be dangerous to not just the texter but to others who are nearby. Therefore, there must be a check of sorts and imposing fines is one of them. It will possibly force people to think twice.

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