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Major U.S. city bans distracted walking

There are a range of cellphone-related distractions that can create safety problems out on the roads. And this doesn’t just include phone use by drivers. It also includes phone use by pedestrians. When a pedestrian is distracted by their cellphone while walking, they might end up inadvertently putting themselves into dangerous situations. This could include dangerous road crossings.

Many parts of the U.S. have laws and rules in place restricting what drivers can do on their cellphone when out on the roads. Might it someday be common for there to be similar restrictions in place for pedestrians? Recently, a major U.S. city passed a ban on distracted walking.

The city in question is Honolulu. The new ban will prohibit texting and looking at one’s cellphone by pedestrians who are crossing a road. It puts fines in place for violations of the ban. The aim of the ban is to combat the safety dangers that distracted walking poses.

The ban is set to go into effect on October 25.

Honolulu is the first major American city to approve such a ban. One wonders if any other big U.S. cities, including any of Louisiana’s major cities, will follow suit in the next few years.

What do you think of the idea of banning distracted walking? What impacts do you think such bans would have on how common distracted walking is and overall pedestrian safety out on the roads?

As the problem of distracted walking points to, pedestrian safety is a complex issue that can be impacted by many things, including the conduct of pedestrians. Pedestrian accident cases can also be very complicated, with a range of different factors potentially having relevance in a case. Given the complexities pedestrian accident cases can have, what preparations an insurance company makes and guidance it seeks out when it is a defendant in such a case can have considerable impacts.

Sources: Reuters, “Honolulu targets 'smartphone zombies' with crosswalk ban,” Eric M. Johnson, July 28, 2017

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