$50 fine: Texting while walking
Small town in Idaho says if you text while crossing a street, you'll pay a fine.
This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.
Laws that forbid texting while driving are as common as a :) on your cellphone, but Rexburg, a small college town in southeastern Idaho, may be the first place to also ban texting while walking.
Officially, only texting while crossing a street is illegal. Which raises a question: If you are so engrossed in texting that you fail to notice that a bright-red 4,000-pound pickup is bearing down on you at 35 mph, how likely is it that you would realize you have left the sidewalk and entered the street?
OK, the real question is whether such a law is even needed. According to reports, there have been no accidents, just a few "close calls," in Rexburg, mostly near the campus of Brigham Young University-Idaho.
While there is no data available on the dangers of texting while walking, a 2010 study by the Highway Loss Data Institute showed that texting-while-driving bans actually appear to increase the number of crashes.
"Texting bans haven't reduced crashes at all," Adrian Lund, president of the HLDI and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said in a news release. "In a perverse twist, crashes increased in three of the four states we studied after bans were enacted. Post continues after video."If drivers were disregarding the bans, then the crash patterns should have remained steady," Lund said. "So clearly, drivers did respond to the bans somehow, and what they might have been doing was moving their phones down and out of sight when they texted, in recognition that what they were doing was illegal. This could exacerbate the risk of texting by taking drivers' eyes further from the road and for a longer time."
The idea behind the Rexburg law is not to punish those who are texting -- although there is a $50 fine for the first offense and $150 for subsequent violations -- but to enhance safety in the community, said those in favor of the ban. "If we can prevent someone from being killed, that's the intent," City Councilman Brad Egbert said.
However, Rexburg Standard Journal editorial writer Robert Patten saw the ban as a town vs. gown issue. BYU in Rexburg has 15,000 students, and 57% of the residents of the town of 27,000 are between 18 and 14 years old.
"We are especially worried that this may be a way for the city to target students," Patten wrote. "… this could become a way to bleed more money out of a part of the economy Rexburg depends on. … Squeezing more out of students may be a good way to fill city coffers, but it's wrong."
Still, BYU-Idaho students seem to see no problem with the new law.
"I think it's a good rule so we don't get hit by cars," said Logan Limb.
"I totally agree; I have a lot of friends that when they text, they cannot think," said Holli Loar.
"That would be hard for me because I'm addicted to texting," said Catherine Hecht. "But I think it's a legit rule. I may have to change some habits, but it's a good thing."
More on MSN Money:
Why am I not surprised that this is near a "school of higher learning".
I used to drive bus for the public transit line in my state, and I can't tell you HOW MANY of these "college students" I almost ran down: Jaywalking in front of my bus, expecting me to stop within 2 or 3 feet (40' bus, weighing 17 tons does NOT stop on a dime)...
You may be book smart, but your survival skills SUCK.
If peopel are supid enough to get killed because of texting, bad for them good for the gene pool.
We don't need a more laws that take away rights.
Unbelievable. Again, we have government run amok. Let a few die. We don't need a law to regulate stupidity. I hate all the laws that try to stop people from doing stupid stuff. Let them die or whatever, I don't care. We are way to over regulated anyway without more laws. Get rid of seatbelt laws, let the market regulate it by allowing Insurance companies to NOT pay claims for those not wearing belts. Then the burden is on you to wear a belt, if you don't and get in a wreck, you are screwed. Get out of my life government.
Blast me if you want to,but when someone you care about is killed because of a text, you might change your mind.
We should not be enacting laws to protect stupid people. If you don't have the sense to come in out of the rain, you should be allowed to get wet!
If you get pneumonia and die as a result, there will be one less dumbbell to create another stupid person.
You just can't fix STUPID!
(it doesn't matter how many laws are enforced)
wish we had such a law in Seattle- such a statute should include texting/stumbling blindly down a crowded sidewalk - such rudeoids should be responsible for there own pathways. one of these days I won't alter my course to avoid colliding with them as there texting is so much more important than paying attention to where they are going. whoops! surprise!!
I see all kind daily. not long ago on my way to work, this lady driving a chevy suburban in front of me and her baby in the back seat was swerving all over the road. kept my distance for approximatly 1 .5 miles. she was driving over the dividing yellow line then she looked down, (i assumed she dropped her phone) and while trying to retrieve it the truck went right to the shoulder and before she recovered it a mail box was flying into the air.
the sad deal is they cause more dangers to others than to themselves.
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