(Photo: Reuters/Will Burgess)
The dangers of texting while walking have been increasingly highlighted in recent years, and one Nevada assemblyman now intends to ban the unsafe habit.
Harvey Munford, a Democrat from Las Vegas, introduced Assembly Bill 123 on Thursday that mandates a law pertaining to pedestrians texting. The new law could be applied not just to busy intersections, but also to all state roads, including residential neighborhoods, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Furthermore, the law would fine walking texters with a $250 penalty for a third offense, while first-timers would receive a warning.
On why he feels so strongly about Assembly Bill 123, Munford explained he had been observing the behavior from his vehicle for a while.
"I was just amazed by what I saw," he said, according to L.A. Times. "So many people are almost oblivious. They are texting and texting, totally unaware as they cross even six-lane highways."
The assemblyman noted that young people are the most dangerous offenders.
"When kids get out of school, where they've been banned from using their cell phones all day, they go immediately to their texts," Munford explained. "I've seen several close calls myself where people have almost been hit. Kids are so addicted to those things. It's almost become a plague."
Nevada is not the first state to see such a policy introduced. Last year, New Jersey police implemented a $85 jaywalking ticket policy to pedestrians who are caught texting while walking.
"It's a big distraction," explained Fort Lee, New Jersey Police Department Chief Thomas Ripoli, according to ABC News. "Pedestrians aren't watching where they are going and they are not aware."
Seattle is also considering a ban on walking and texting, despite the lack of statistics about the fatalities associated with the behavior today.