July 19, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Texting while walking in Philadelphia? That’ll be $120, please. Beginning in August, the City of Brotherly Love will crack down on people who violate safety regulations when powering a motor vehicle or bicycle – or even their own legs.
Pedestrians who walk in Philadelphia’s Center City while texting or talking on the phone and not paying attention to their surroundings could face $120 fines. You would think that as a mobile phone addict I’d be firmly against this, right? Wrong.
One of the things that I hate most about big cities is that pedestrians often walk slowly down crowded sidewalks, looking around and holding-up foot traffic because they don’t know where they are going. It’s infuriating when someone walks into me because they were too busy yapping on their phone about their plans Friday night or texting their friends. If you need to communicate with someone that badly, step to the side and leave space for people who have somewhere to go and are actually paying attention.
Take a look at the beginning of this video from CBS. What happens in the first 30 seconds is a regular occurrence every time I go to Philadelphia or New York City. These types of infractions need to be combatted, and I hope every city rolls-out a similar program. No, I’m not advocating police walking to every single person talking on their phones and automatically giving them tickets. However, I am in favor of more enforcement against jerks like this who put other people in danger.