A recent study showed that the majority of pedestrians who are injured or killed in pedestrian accidents are injured while they are in crosswalks. Moreover, in most situations, the pedestrians were walking on a green light and following traffic laws. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be enough to keep pedestrians from getting injured.
In an effort to increase safety and minimize the number of pedestrian accidents, one New York senator recently proposed a bill that would make it illegal for pedestrians to use electronic devices while crossing the street.
If the bill passes, police officers would give pedestrians $100 tickets for any violations, including listening to an iPod or other MP3 player, texting a friend, or performing other “distracting behaviors.”
An informal poll on CNN showed that 73 percent of readers opposed the “texting while walking” ban. Regardless, it may be the only way to protect pedestrians as they are crossing the streets.
Anyone who has walked through New York knows that many drivers will turn, change lanes or charge through intersections regardless of whether they have green lights. Forcing pedestrians to be more focused on drivers and the road could help minimize the number of fatal pedestrian accidents.
Although many pedestrian accidents are not caused by the pedestrian, defensive and attentive walking could prevent some of those accidents. Pedestrians who are engrossed in a text message or unable to hear traffic because of loud music endanger themselves by failing to be aware of their surroundings.
As a comedian once quipped, you need to watch the cars, not the lights. The cars are what hit people.
Source: Rutgers, “Walking to Distraction.”