Pending Legislation Aims to Curb Distracted Pedestrians
In Connecticut, it’s already against the law to drive distracted. Drivers who violate the law face a $150 fine for the first offense—up to a full $500 fine if they break the law three or more times. In a construction zone, those fines are doubled. Pedestrians could soon face a similar fate. An article on the proposed change is available here.
About the Change
The Transportation Committee—part of the Connecticut General Assembly—recently weighed a bill which would allow law-enforcement officers to fine pedestrians who cross streets while looking at their cellphones.
Legislators in favor of the bill say they are trying to raise awareness among pedestrians of the dangers of distraction. Some note recent data regarding traffic accidents shows more instances of pedestrians using electronic devices—and remaining unaware of what is occurring around them.
At the same time, opponents feel the Assembly is trying to legislate common sense—and question the feasibility of attempts to correctly enforce the potential new law. They say adding additional laws that are impractical to enforce is not an effective solution to the problem.
A First Among States
While certain cities currently have ordinances to restrict distracted walking, there are no state-level laws which address the issue. Connecticut—if the new bill passes—would be the first. If successful, this new bill could serve as a model for other states to follow. Pedestrians would receive a warning upon their first offense. Subsequent offenses would result in a $20 fine.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During April, the NSC encourages motorists to recognize the dangers of distracted driving. They remind us nine Americans are killed–and over 100 more are injured—at the hands of distracted drivers every day.
We Can Help
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