Texting while driving is dangerous for many reasons; but at least one state legislature is considering a bill that would ban walking while texting due to potential dangers.
Laws have been banning texting while driving since 2007, Washington being the first state to pass such a law. Texting while driving has been banned to all drivers in states like California and banned to new drivers in Texas.
Texas law regarding texting and driving prohibits cellphone use to all drivers in school zones, and all drivers under the age of 18 are forbidden from using cellphones while driving. Also, bus drivers are prohibited from all cellphone use while children are present. The reasons for these laws are similar to reasons why walking and texting could be seen as dangerous. Nevada’s assemblyman Harvey Munford, has proposed a bill that could potentially outlaw texting while walking with fines up to $250 to those who text while crossing roads. Although there’s no talk of Texas passing such a law, states like Utah, Illinois, New York, and Arkansas have also looked at a similar legislation.
“I think it’s dumb,” said Javier Servin, Mechanical Engineering major at TJC. “I mean, it’s common sense to pay attention when doing something that puts your life at risk.”
Texting while walking could be dangerous due to anything from tripping to potentially walking into a street in the path of an oncoming car. According to the National Safety Council, 1.4 million accidents occur every year due to cellphone use, 200,000 of those are from texting and driving alone.
According to socialtimes.com attention spans are lowering each year, the average person’s attention span went from 12 minutes to 5 minutes and the internet, cellphones, and media are to blame. If so, a person texting and walking is more likely to get hurt than those who don’t text and walk such as Mrs. Jeannie Lafferty an environmental science professor at TJC.
“I text, but I’m not that coordinated at walking. I stop at the side of the hallway,” said Lafferty. “I can trip just walking, I can’t walk and chew gum … I’m not that graceful.”
If texting while walking became banned on TJC campus or even in Tyler, students such as Javier Servin think that such thing will be absurd. “If it was on campus, it wouldn’t make sense,” said Servin. “Because there’s nothing life threatening other than the schools security on the golf carts and bikes.”
Other students like Kebrina McCullough, a dental hygiene major, think that such a thing is odd.
“It would be crazy, I mean because as weird as it sounds while you’re walking texting is a distraction,” said McCullough.
Nevada’s Assembly Bill 123 would make it illegal for pedestrians to use cellphones when crossing streets, including residential neighborhoods. First offense will be only a warning, second offense will be a fine of $100, and third offense will be a fine of $250.
This bill does make exceptions to emergency calls. Assemblyman Munford said his biggest concern is the safety of pedestrians, not the money that will come from the fines that will be given.
Criminal Justice major, Urbano Lino understands that the proposed bill in Nevada and believes that safety is a concern. He said that safety should always come first. There should be more awareness and less texting and it will result if the law is enacted.