Motor vehicles are considered a means of transportation for most, but any victim of a collision can tell you that they are more like weapons when it comes to car accidents. Some of the most horrific car accidents involve pedestrians who are left unprotected when they are struck by the mass of metal carrying a significant degree of force.
Cellphones have been targeted as a cause of many traffic collisions, but most of the focus in the recent past was placed on the actions of the driver. The small New Jersey town of Fort Lee has taken cellphone distraction to another level, banning texting while jaywalking.
The ban was put in place as a way to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents occurring throughout the town. The chief of police reported that since the beginning of January, 23 pedestrian accidents have already occurred within the city limits.
City officials say that some of the responsibility should be placed on the pedestrians themselves after popular internet videos showed just how “into” their phones some people can be. The videos showed one man nearly missing a bear — yes the giant animal — because he was too focused on his phone. Another woman fell right into a water fountain.
Some of the viral videos are almost comical, but when a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle the results are absolutely not a laughing matter. Is the ban putting too much responsibility on the pedestrian? Will it make drivers think that they do not have to have the same level of attention? What effect will it have in terms of a personal injury lawsuit when a pedestrian victim is struck while looking at a phone?
Source: cbs news, “Texting while walking banned in N.J. town,” Chenda Ngak, May 14, 2012