Chill Out On The Texting While Walking Bans, Says Professor
from the voice-of-reason dept
At the University of Virginia, there’s a professor who studies “the historic relationship between pedestrians and motorists.” Lately, he’s been looking at pedestrians texting on their phones while crossing the street, and he says that the phenomenon really isn’t anything new, rather it’s just the latest iteration of a historically recurring issue. He points out that a century ago, people crossing the street with their nose buried in a book were causing problems. The historical example is a little extreme, but it’s valid nonetheless. Banning all sorts of activities, like talking on the phone while crossing the street, really isn’t likely to be effective, as the professor notes. He points out that jaywalking laws didn’t do much to stop people from crossing the street anywhere they liked, that in fact it was the stigma of being called a “jaywalker” (along with, presumably, the danger of getting run over) that had the biggest effect. He suggests calling people who text while they cross the street “textlemmings”. That doesn’t seem especially likely to catch on, but the underlying point is that, sadly, you can’t ban stupidity, and laws banning things like texting while walking, don’t really make people safer, and won’t save stupid people from themselves. If you’re already not paying attention to traffic while you walk and text, why would you suddenly pay attention to a difficult-to-enforce law?
Filed Under: texting, textlemming, walking
Comments on “Chill Out On The Texting While Walking Bans, Says Professor”
Perhaps we should solicit Stephen King for a comment on this.
What is extreme about crossing the street while reading? I used to do it all the time. Of course I generally stopped to make sure it was save to cross before doing so. 😛
‘Think of it as evolution in action’
Re: Now where was I?
No deep thinking is encouraged while working (or anytime else, for that matter).
Re: Re: Now where was I?
theres nothing wrong at all while crossing the road reading I do it all the time so ease off
I don’t see a problem. I’m texting and crossing the street right n
Textlemmings is too long
I propose “Texttards.” Slightly shorter and more of that stigma thing people so love to attach to something they dislike.
That’s my university! Wahoo!
Texting while crossing the street (or reading) is dangerous and I’ve seen more than one close call because of it. As for what to call them, I suggest “lemmings.”
I suggest “lemmings.”
Wow did you come up with this term all on your own or did you just read the post?
I watched a man walk into two different signs and a tree all while texting in the same 1/2 block. Not once did he change is course of walking down the sidewalk. I assume Darwin is looking for him.
who's to blame?
if there’s an accident, the blamme’s on whoever didnt bother to look. Besides, driving on a college campus, you should already be goin slow and watchin for people on the road. Nobody should be goin 45 down such a street anyways.
Name for them...
How about “targets”?