Stamford, Connecticut, could be the latest city to outlaw texting while walking if city officials get their way.
News 12 reports that Connecticut already has a statewide ban on texting while driving, but city officials in Stamford are looking to take the ban further by making it illegal to use an electronic device while crossing the street.
John Zelinksy, a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives, proposed the ban last week because he believes those who are “distracted” while walking pose a safety risk to themselves and others.
“My objective is to not have anyone injured or, God forbid, killed,” says John Zelinsky, a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives. “Sometimes, when people have to pay a fine, they may pay more attention to what they’re doing.”
Under the proposal, people who violate the law are subject to fines starting at $30.
Zelinksy says that his proposal could become law by October if it successfully goes through the political process, according to WABC.
Residents’ reactions to the proposal have been mixed.
Critics of the proposed ban say that it unnecessarily “regulates common sense.”
“I think that’s ridiculous,” resident Troy Latham told CBS News. “If it’s an important text message or call they’re getting, like, what if it’s too late, what if their mother’s in the hospital and they need someone to call real quick.”
Supporters say the proposed ban could prevent accidents involving drivers and pedestrians.
“You could prevent a lot of accidents and problems from drivers and pedestrians,” said resident Terry Barber. “When people are walking and texting and stuff like that, it shows an irresponsibility and a lack of vigilance.”
Stamford would not be the only city to outlaw texting while walking across a street.
The city of Honolulu, Hawaii, approved a ban on texting while walking in July, making it the first city in the U.S. to have a law on the books outlawing crossing a street while viewing an electronic device, Fox News reported.