New Jersey Town's Cops Ticket Texting Pedestrians

'Dangerous walkers' fined $85 in Fort Lee
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2012 1:44 AM CDT
Updated May 14, 2012 2:01 AM CDT
Jersey Cops Ticket Texting Pedestrians
Watch where you're going.   (?cletch)

Take your fingers off your cell phone, and nobody gets hurt. That could be a warning from one New Jersey town's cops, who are handing out $85 jaywalking tickets to pedestrians who text while they walk—117 so far. "It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going, and they are not aware," said the chief of the Fort Lee police department. Three pedestrians have been killed this year in car accidents, and investigators hope the crackdown will help public safety.

Texters, considered "dangerous walkers" by the police department, were warned about the fines with brochures in March, notes ABC News. Two professors at a New York university found that texters are 60% more likely to veer cluelessly off their route than non-texters, increasing the likelihood that they'll stray into danger. Texters, not surprisingly, aren't LOL-ing about the change. “When I walk I still look around. I’m not, like, constantly looking down the whole time,” sniffed one resident. (Read more Fort Lee stories.)

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