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Texting While Moving: Won’t Necessarily Cost You a Dollar, But Doesn’t Make Sense

July 20, 2011

Fox, ABC, NBC, CNET and other major media outlets reported yesterday that Philadelphia police will ticket pedestrians caught texting while walking. Turns out it’s not true, although police will admonish folks who are acting unsafely. I’d say people could use the warnings, given how blithely some risk life and limb by sauntering into busy intersections with their gazes locked on their phones. However, for everyone on wheels, including bicyclists and skateboarders, Philly does prohibit handheld cellphone use, one of the most restrictive such laws in the nation. Fines range from $150 to $300. Although police do issue some fines under the law, it’s still somewhat controversial and compliance could be better. Which is a shame, given the height of the stakes: talking while driving raises the risk of an accident by 30% and texting while driving raises the risk an astronomical 2300%. It’s not worth it folks—pick your head up and help avoid the next needless catastrophe. If you’re driving a car/bike/skateboard/rollerskates, or even walking across the street, if it’s not important enough to stop to respond, it can wait until later.

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