Road deaths spark crackdown on jaywalking texter menace
lok b4 u cross or els!11
Vid Cops in Fort Lee have fined 117 pedestrians in a fortnight for jaywalking while engrossed in their smartphone screens - after three people died by wandering into traffic.
So far this year officers have warned 575 citizens in the New Jersey borough that they risked, apart from death, an $85 (£52) ticket for strolling into traffic while fiddling with their mobiles. But such advice wasn't being heeded, so two weeks ago the police started handing out fines instead, as local rag NorthJersey.com reports.
“Even kids,” the paper quotes the unapologetic chief of police. “We just hope their parents would make them pay the fine. After all, this is for the safety of the public.”
Once it was only irresponsible bibliophiles who walked into lampposts and the occasional car, but the smartphone has democratised pedestrian recklessness to the point where we can all engage with our microliths to wilfully ignore the dangers surrounding us.
That might mean humorously tumbling into a fountain, or getting way too close to a wild bear (as the ABC video below demonstrates), or rather-less-amusingly walking into the path of a car moving at speed - an act which has killed three Fort Lee residents this year already.
Although it's an offence in the US, jaywalking isn't illegal in the UK; we're allowed to take our life in our hands whenever we wish, but it is nice to see the police applying an existing law rather than pushing for the creation of a new one.
Making laws is cheap, which is why we have a ban on using a mobile while driving when the rules on due care and attention were perfectly adequate, but laws are expensive to enforce, which is why drivers continue to text and speak to each other with alacrity.
So Fort Lee should be commended for enforcing existing laws, even if it seems harsh to blame those being hit by cars for lacking the sense to stay out of their way. There's little denying that tapping away on a screen while walking is dangerous, and if Fort Lee can reduce its accident statistics by fining a few people then expect the idea to be quickly picked up elsewhere. ®
Re: Had to break suddenly just the other day
Me too. I just fell to pieces.
Fuck'em. Survival of the least stupid is important for the species...this is just a natural filter in process.
Re: Darwin rules
Sounds good to me.
Now if only the UK's Met police would start handing out some tickets to the cyclists who seem to spend even less time looking where they are going than these iZombie pedestrians.
Only yesterday I almost put one over the bonnet of my car as I pulled away at a green light... Along he came, from the right (where he'd obviously jumped an orange or red light) and was looking over his right shoulder the whole time when it might have been wise to be paying attention to the slab of steel pulling out of the junction in front of him from the left. Luckily one of us was paying attention.
If I rode my motorbike with that level of care in London I'd be dead within a week.
I'm sure that within the month there will be another heart wrenching story about a father of 2 killed on his bicycle on the way to/from a charity fund-raiser, but it's getting harder and harder for me to feel much sympathy for the cyclist. Sure there are some shocking drivers out there, but they're not the ones who will end up on the slab. So please, pedal pushers, for f*ck's sake try to pay attention! To pinch a phrase from the motorcycle world - treat everyone on the road as if they are a f*cking idiot out to kill you, because the invariably are.
Queue flames from 100% if El Reg cyclists, who have never ever ever done anything but follow the highway code by the letter.
Re: Darwin rules
That's all very well, but its rather hard on the innocent driver who has to go through life with the image of the gene pool no-contributor bouncing off their vehicle...
Re: Darwin rules
> The trouble with motorcyclists is that the the menaces are in a majority.
This is not true.
Sadly, many car drivers feel the need to "educate" motorcyclists, despite not actually knowing what thay are talking about...