Textaholics beware! Now, in Fort Lee, N.J., not only can you not text and drive, you can't text and walk.
Police have started handing out $85 jaywalking tickets to pedestrians who are caught texting while walking.
"It's a big distraction. Pedestrians aren't watching where they are going and they are not aware," said Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department.
Ripoli says the borough which is home to approximately 35,000 residents, has suffered three fatal pedestrian-involved accidents this year. He hopes his crackdown on people who display dangerous behavior while walking will make his town safer.
Officers handed out pamphlets during a short grace period in March before they began aggressively going after "dangerous walkers."
More than 117 tickets have been issued, according to the New Jersey Record.
According to Yahoo.com, two professors at Stony Brook University in New York conducted a study on walking and texting. They found texters are 60 percent more likely to veer off line than non-texters.
"We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting," Eric Lamberg, co-author of the study, told Long Island Business News. "Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking."
What do you think about the new law? Good or bad idea?
Viewers serve up their thoughts:
Jamie writes: Bad. I get banning texting and driving. It's even illegal in my town to talk on the phone while driving in a school zone. But telling someone they can't text and walk? I do that all the time. What are they afraid of? Someone walking out into traffic because they're texting? If that's the case, it would be that persons fault for being an idiot. It's pretty ridiculous to control what we do while walking. Just sad.
Adela writes: BAD.. I agree with the no texting and driving... and the no phones during a school zone.. But this here is just not kool.. why should other ppl have to pay for someone elses stupidity..
Theron writes: Guess the government doesn't think we can walk and chew gum or text at the same time. Stay out of our lives!
John writes: Though I am not any kind of texter, I think it's going a bit too far to say that texting and walking bears the same weight as texting and driving. I just think that you're pushing it too far. That's my take, Maggie.