NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) – A bill that would ban pedestrians from texting (or doing pretty much anything on your phone or another gadget) while crossing the street is probably bulldozed and dead, according to a report.
Sen. John Liu, a Democrat of Queens, introduced Senate Bill S5746 in the current session. The legislation, if passed, would slap pedestrians with fines of $25 to $50 for “using a portable electronic device while crossing a roadway.”
But the Democrat who chairs the Transportation Committee told the New York Post that the bill isn’t going anywhere—at least not in its current form. Sen. Tim Kennedy, a Democrat of Buffalo, said that he supports making streets safer but that this bill “appears to me as though this is an overreach of government.”
“I’m always open to discussing ways to reach common sense solutions, especially when they’re created with the best interests of New Yorkers in mind,” Kennedy said, according to the Post.
The “Justification” section of the bill cites several studies showing that distracted walking can lead to injuries.
“It has been proven that distraction from texting while walking can cause pedestrians to cross roads very unsafely. Not only can trips and falls occur, but even getting hit is more than just a possibility,” the legislation reads. “Texting and walking causing car accidents are high up in statistics specifically for teenagers.”
Liu defended the bill and told the Post that many of the people he represents support it.
“I’ve talked to constituents, some of whom have been parents wouldn’t mind their teenagers getting a ticket,” Liu said.
The state Senate’s website currently lists the bill‘s status as “in committee.”