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Texting While Crossing Streets May Be Penalized In New York

“I’m walkin’ here” is not a valid excuse.

Texting while driving is already an illegal activity in the majority of the cities in the world, but have you ever heard of people getting penalized for texting while crossing the street?

If you live in New York, you probably would, sooner or later. A new bill has just been introduced to the state Senate to be considered later this year, wherein pedestrians who break the rules may be penalized for their actions.

New Yorkers would have to abide by the strict yet logical rules imposed by the local government if they want to avoid having to pay the fee of $25 to $250. If the bill manages to pass into law, those who are caught using a portable electronic device while walking or driving will immediately be charged a corresponding fee.

Like all rules, there are some exceptions to this. For example, people who are responding to an emergency, hospital employees, or fire department employees, among others, are exempt from this rule.

Still, not everyone is convinced. The interim executive director for Transportation Alternatives, for instance, says, “It’s a terribly misguided bill. Barely any data is being cited. Most traffic fatalities nationwide involve some kind of driver. It’s victim-blaming in disguise.” The group is focused on promoting healthier transportation methods such as walking, biking, and taking public transit instead of your own car.