Texting While Walking May Soon be Illegal in New York
You could soon be fined if you're caught texting while walking in the Hudson Valley.
A new bill was introduced in the New York State Senate that would make it illegal to cross streets in New York with your eyes looking at your phone. The measure is meant to cut down on incidents where pedestrians are struck by cars.
"I have introduced legislation that will make it a violation for pedestrians to be using their cell phones while crossing the street. Distracted walking is a danger for both the pedestrian and drivers," Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix Ortiz who sponsored the bill wrote on Twitter.
Ortiz's bill didn't get past the Assembly last year, but Queens State Senator John Liu has adopted the bill this year, Gothamist reports.
"I have gotten more than my share of complaints from constituents about the problem and the suggestion that there ought to be a law. Including from parents who don't want their kids texting while they're walking, much less while they're crossing the street," Liu told Gothamist.
If passed, the bill would make it illegal from crossing any road "while using any portable electronic device." It won't be illegal if you are texting the police, fire department, doctors or hospitals.
The fines would range from $25 to $50 for a first offense, $150 if caught a second time and $250 if caught a third time withing a year and a half.
According to Gothamist, "using" means "viewing" so if the bill passes, you could also be fined for simply looking at something on your phone while crossing a street.
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