New “Distracted Walking” Legislation Will Outlaw Texting, and Even Talking, While Walking

By Rachel Blevins

The heinous “crime” of “distracted walking” has become the latest trend that cities in the United States are looking to legislate into nonexistence—relying on tax dollars and the extortion of citizens to solve the problem instead of common sense.

Stamford, Connecticut, is the most recent city to join the bandwagon, and its proposal would make texting, and even talking, on an electronic device while walking illegal.  

A report from CBS New York noted that “nationwide pedestrian fatalities jumped about 11 percent last year with nearly 6,000 people killed,” according to the National Governors’ Highway Safety Association.

John Zelinsky, a Stamford City representative who is fully in support of the proposal, claimed that its purpose “is not actually to raise money for the city, but to hopefully educate the public.” He said residents will face an initial fine of $30 if police deem that they fit the description of “distracted walkers.”

“They’re oblivious to cars,” Zelinsky said. “I don’t want any more injuries or deaths as a result of pedestrians getting hit. We’ve had about four or five within the past three or four years.”

According to CBS New York, most Stamford residents “seemed to like the idea,” of the new proposal. However, residents such as Troy Latham questioned why the city feels the need to legislate common sense.

“I think that’s ridiculous,” Latham said. “If it’s an important text message or call they’re getting, like what if it’s too late, what if their mother’s in the hospital and they need someone to call real quick.”

The proposal in Stamford is based on a ban that was passed in Honolulu, Hawaii, in July. The legislation was passed by a vote of 7-2 by Honolulu’s city council, and its fines range from $15 to $99, depending on how many offenses the individuals have accumulated. The ban goes into effect in October.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters that Honolulu holds “the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county.”

Honolulu resident Ben Robinson told the city council in a written testimony that he sees this new law as a form of government overreach that infringes on personal freedom. “Scrap this intrusive bill, provide more education to citizens about responsible electronics usage, and allow law enforcement to focus on larger issues,” he said.

In addition to the argument over whether making “distracted walking” illegal is a waste of taxpayer dollars that will enforce a law that should be common sense, there is also the question of how police will handle it, and if there will be an increase in cases of police brutality stemming from incidents where officers stop individuals in an attempt to issue citations for walking and using an electronic device.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, there has been a recent increase in police using excessive force when apprehending individuals for the heinous crime of “jaywalking.”

In June 2016, police used a taser on a mentally ill man while beating him with batons in Bakersfield, California. In August 2016, police choked a high school student and tackled him on the ground in Fresno, California. In April, a viral video showed police repeatedly beating a man, strip him naked, and then mock him, in Del Paso Heights, California. In July, a viral video showed police repeatedly hitting a man as they held him to the ground in Millville, New Jersey. The one thing all of these cases have in common? The suspect police were using excessive force on had been stopped for allegedly jaywalking.

Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

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25 Comments on "New “Distracted Walking” Legislation Will Outlaw Texting, and Even Talking, While Walking"

  1. O Trojan Horse thy name is Safety.

    1 Thessalonians 5:3Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

    Daniel 8:25Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

  2. Inch by inch the corporate state wants everything they are not entitled to.

  3. Let survival of the fittest be the law. If a person gets hit by a car, that’s their problem.

    • Anyone walking around on the streets with a phone in use is an idiot. This incl. joggers in parks using ear buds and not aware of surroundings. Not to mention traffic injuries or fatalities, also purse snatchers, pick pockets, muggings, etc. If folks don’t care about their safety they need to learn a lesson but not fined; instead suffer accidents or fatalities or being robbed may jar their senses.

    • Yep. All these would be dictators always yak on and on about how over-population is such a problem, yet are always so concerned with keeping us safe and alive. seems rather contradictary to me. But what do I know? I’m just a sentient individual; not a member of the Borg.

  4. Another excuse to steal money from the people

  5. A baseball bat to the side of the head to the first cop to abuse this!

  6. The old scam rears its ugly head once again. PROBLEM. “We have all this people walking around using their cell phones and not paying proper attention to what is going on around them.” REACTION. “Something must be done. Occasionally this ‘distracted walking’ causes problems.” SOLUTION. “Let’s pass new Orwellian Laws. Of course, we need to spy on people even more to make sure they aren’t disobeying this new law and we need more police. Of course, none of this is free so we need to raise your taxes.”

  7. Mayor Kirk Caldwell told reporters that Honolulu holds “the unfortunate distinction of being a major city with more pedestrians being hit in crosswalks, particularly our seniors, than almost any other city in the county.”

    If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, the fault lies with the driver, not the walker!!! That’s what “no fault” liability insurance is for!

  8. I am with the Darwanists on this one. Is it in Louisiana there is nopolianic code and if someone is just plain stupid they take responsibility for themselves?

    • Exactly.
      If we are fooled into thinking we can enact laws to protect people from their own stupidity it will never end. I believe this is the intent by the lawmakers. Keep themselves relevant and in power.

      Makes me think of the line in the movie V where the chancellor says, “We need to remind them of how much they need us”

  9. SO IN THE HELL WHAT. How far do we have to go to protect people from themselves? Once again this has nothing to do with safety and everything to do about CONTROL.

  10. I fully agree that something needs to be done with people talking and texting – especially around street crossings, pedestrian Xwalks and those who are not looking out for traffic. How about that guy out west that got into the Pokemon games so intense, he walked right over a cliff – RIP

  11. I often see distracted pedestrians looking down at their phones, even while bicycling they are on their phone, I have even seen one holding a phone with both hands while bicycling. This legislation is definitely needed since there are too many bicycle lobbies/advocates and coalitions within this country that are looking to make an example out of the next unsuspecting driver.

  12. and if it’s your kid on their smart phone hyou lose the kids to CPS and have to wonder how many shekels your kid’s body parts fetched in tel Aviv.

  13. You cannot legislate safety and or behavior in this sense.
    If you even attempt it shows the serious flaws in our system or those in charge of drafting such things.
    It will never end and as long as the America people keep rolling over for these actions/laws we will eventually find ourselves in a corner, “for our own good” as the law makers will tell you.

    The lawyers and judges themselves cannot tell you how many laws are on the books these days.
    In essence we have all become criminals, according to them, and don’t even know it.

    What will become of a society with runaway legislature?

  14. I wonder when they will make a felony out of farting in public…

    Can’t have enough laws to take care of the evildoers in our society….

  15. Don’t think my cell phone could compete with Honolulu, just sayin.

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