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Texting While Crossing the Street Could Soon Be Penalized in NYC

In a move that has garnered national attention, city councilors in New York City have announced they are considering a bill that could fine pedestrians up to $250 for reckless behavior if they are caught texting while crossing the street. The minimum fine would be $25.

The proposal came after it was announced that pedestrian accidents saw a significant uptick last year. Officials also say that with traffic and congestion continuing to be as big of a problem as they are in the city limits, additional steps are needed to make the roads safer. They say that devices have given people “tunnel vision,” and the added use of headphones can prevent people from hearing their surroundings — including vehicles and horns.

There are about 300 pedestrian deaths every year in the state of New York.

Measure receives some criticism

The proposed new ordinance has its critics. Some say that it does not cite enough data to justify the changes it proposes. Others argue that it places too much blame on pedestrians, as most traffic fatalities are due to driver negligence. The common themes of the criticism are that the bill is too subjective and could lead to inconsistent policing and unfair fines. More significant criticism is that it could lead to greater racial discrimination throughout the city.

If you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to seek compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other damages. To learn more, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.