Could using a cell phone while walking become illegal?

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Walking while on the cellphone has become a problem for pedestrians and drivers, and in some states they’re considering cracking down.

With eyes fixed on the cell phone screen, the focus on your surroundings tends to become blurred.

“I mean I can say I’ve done it a couple times, but I do put it in my pocket once in a while,” Bryson Chung of Springfield, Massachusetts said

You’ve either done it or seen other people doing it: looking down at their cell phones while walking. Enamored with technology, but possibly running into other problems like traffic on the roadway or other people on the sidewalk.

One New Jersey lawmaker wants to outlaw walking while texting entirely. The bill by state assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt would also bar pedestrians on public roads from using phones, unless they are hands free.

“It’s crazy, it’s all over the place,” Mark Griffin from Queens, New York said. “I’m from New York, work downtown, the street the sidewalks are very busy and I find the younger generation are the ones, they never put the phone down. My son here, he has a cell phone and it’s never out of his hand. So these guys will walk around the streets blind just bumping into people all over the place. It’s nuts!”

The habit of becoming too focused on the screen has proven dangerous, and sometimes deadly, for pedestrians.

Violators of the bill proposed in New Jersey would face fines of up to $50, 15 days imprisonment or both, the same penalty as jaywalking. Any money collected through fines towards safety education about the dangers of walking and texting.

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