$50 Fine for Texting While Walking – Maybe Not a Bad Idea by John D’Amico
John D’Amico is a currently a Rutgers senior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in Political Science. He briefly wrote for Brookdale Community College’s student newspaper “The Stall.” While at Rutgers, John has written for The Targum, and currently writes for the student arts and culture magazine “The Rutgers Review,” as well as for the Rutgers edition of TheTab.com. John’s interests include politics, film, television, and hopes to become a professional film or television critic. Contact John: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There has been a lot of controversy about the new proposed bill which would make it illegal in NJ to cross the street while on your phone. Perhaps it might not be as stupid an idea as a lot of people think.
The new law would impose a fine up to $50, 15 days behind bars or both for those caught texting while walking, CBS New York reported.
Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt proposed the new bill, citing a national increase in collisions between cars and pedestrians on their phones, according to NJ.com.
The bill has already been shown to be very controversial among NJ citizens. Is it really a good idea or not?
Part of the reason Lampitt proposed this bill comes from her concern for pedestrians. “Distracted pedestrians, like distracted drivers, present a potential danger to themselves and drivers on the road,” she said.
Is this really any of the government’s business? I understand that government should serve and protect the people. And in some situations, the government may even need to step in and protect people from themselves. But is this really one of those situations?
I understand there’s a problem with pedestrians getting hit by cars while on their phones. If someone is really going to be careless by putting themselves in that situation, then that should be their problem.
What’s the other issue here; concern for the drivers? When that is taken into account, I understand the appeal of a law like this. Keep in mind, this would specifically be for pedestrians crossing the street on the phone texting, not pedestrians in general.
If someone wants to be reckless and endanger their own life by being on their phone while crossing the street, that’s their choice. Once they start endangering the lives of others, it becomes a problem.
There is ample evidence that this is a real concern in New Jersey. Therefore, I don’t have a problem with it. Bear in mind, this op-ed comes from the mind of a COLLEGE student, also known as the “texting” generation.