ER Doctors Warn About Walking While Texting; When Will We Start Seeing Laws?

from the they're-coming dept

Anyone want to take a guess on when we’ll see the first laws proposed to ban the practice of walking-while-texting? We’ve already seen a few proposals that would ban walking and talking in a crosswalk. And, to add some fuel to the fire, some ER doctors are warning people who walk and text at the same time that it’s risky behavior. The doctors say they’re seeing a rise in reports of people walking and texting at the same time, leading to some sort of injury, including two people who were hit by a car after paying more attention to their phone than oncoming traffic. Since technopanics always seem to start with a news article, just wait for someone to propose a law against this — rather than insisting that perhaps it’s time to institute a little common sense. Update: Apparently, I’m too late. At least one state has already proposed just such a law.

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Comments on “ER Doctors Warn About Walking While Texting; When Will We Start Seeing Laws?”

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pulsar says:

Darwin Awards?

can we please just let our systems work without the micro-management of government offices???

if in life, as organisms we SHOULD put survival over “txt msg LOL”, right? let it go and let god sort them out (or the flying spaghetti monster…)

if in economics, let the damn freddie fannie etc DIE and make room for some people who are more concerned about survival than profit enter the vacuum.

i guess this would be evidence that big brother is taking such good care of people here in the states that we are used to a vanilla life of stimuli and being cradled in the warm, workaholic womb that bore us into this nightmare that is our current corporate-socialist police state. i mean, if i just go to work, watch TV, and consume lots of products all while going into debt, my name won’t POSSIBLY be on a terrorist list, and god help the people who ARE on that list.

Read 'n' Walk (profile) says:

Hope they don't outlaw reading

I regularly read on my walk to work, have done for years. It’s about a 20 minute walk, and I’ve yet to have an accident.

Who are these people who randomly walk in front of cars, into telephone poles and other generally inanimate objects.

Are they the same people who would normally be walking in front of cars for reasons of general uselessness or for purposes of suing the driver.

Craig says:

Opportunity knocks

Instead of scoffing at this, people should see the opportunity that is presenting itself.

Mobile devices are in the way when people drive, when people walk or ride a bike, bus, or train. The familiar elbow-up-hand-to-the-side-of-the-face is everywhere. Let’s face it, there is a legitimate concern here.

What’s the opportunity? Get the mobile device out of our way. Create a device that does not require us to create a blind spot when we are driving. Create something that does not put us at risk of elbowing someone sitting beside us on the bus.

That is the opportunity — and if you figure it out you will be plunking down cash for a ride on Virgin’s space ship and having lunch with Bill Gates et al.

I was in the Philippines this past February 2008. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I read that the Filipino people text more per capita than anyone else. Their solution to the walking while texting “danger”? They post signs at intersections that suggest you pay attention rather than text as you cross.

I don’t know if it is a real solution, but certainly when a pedestrian gets mowed down because they aren’t paying attention, at least everyone can point to the sign and say “we told you so!”

Matt says:

Re: Opportunity knocks

The problem, like the driving and talking issue, is that the attention of the walker/driver is being diverted by the conversation itself, not the method or mode of communication. One can be equally distracted by a conversation with a fellow rider/walker.
I am totally against such laws. We’re so worried about Big Brother, the fascist dictator putting listening devices in our closets, that we are missing the real Big Brother, whom we are inviting into our lives by electing morons who suggest such legislation.

Mike says:

People are oblivious

I am 23 and it IS a problem. People are in their own little world while being in public. I have been bumped into many of time by some oblivious as&$%ole who is texting or looking up something on their phone. Or standing in line only to here some loud mouth talk to their doctor about setting up an appointment for there precious child. In public act publicly. That means interact with others and pay attention. If these simple tasks can’t be accomplishment then stay housebound and use your phone to order everything in.

Tony (profile) says:

A Lack of Surprise

I was anything but surprised when I clicked the link in the update for this article. I live in Illinois, and I just can’t wait to see this hit the opinion section of my local paper.

I mean honestly, I can agree that this is a problem, but I don’t think a new law is a good solution. We need to stop making up fines for everything bad we do, because, and I know this might sound paranoid, but police (as well as the rest of the gov’t) already have enough reasons to harass people. Maybe the idea of putting signs up at crosswalks isn’t a bad idea, but it seems unnecessarily costly.

If we, as intelligent and creative humans *ahem*, can’t use technology to save us from (ironically) technology, then we might as well quit using it. Let’s use our GPS capabilities to tell our phones when we are about to cross a street so the phone can print the message “LOOK UP!” if we happen to be texting. In fact, with all the facial recognition advancements, we could just make phones so they “know” when you’re looking at them.

Yeah, I know that sound ridiculous, and it does to me, too. It sounds as ridiculous as making it illegal to walk and text at the same time. Maybe, just maybe I’m walking and texting because I’m walking towards a bomb I have to disarm for someone and at the same time texting a doctor what he could use to save Batman from a deadly poison.

Or maybe not.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m against the walking law but I still strongly agree that driving and using the cell phone is dangerous. No, I dont have stats but based on empirical evidence I’ve seen enough to know that many people (though not all) can’t deal with the distraction. Also, you’ll never get accurate stats since people are not going to admit they were using their phone or texting when they ran into another car, pedestrian, etc..

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Think of it as evolution in action

When I text while walking I always pause at the street corners and check the traffic before I cross.

It’s called “awareness of your surroundings.” Or maybe it’s called “priorities.” Or maybe it’s “I’m an old fart who didn’t get that way by ignoring hurtling hunks of glass and metal.”

Or maybe I’m just smart. There’s always room for doubt on that last one but hey, I’m still here.

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