Texting While Walking in New Jersey Could Mean Jail Time, fine

Crossing the Street in New Jersey with your eyes glued to your smartphone could mean spending 15 days in jail, paying a $50 fine, or both. A “Distracted Walking” bill was introduced by state assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt. “Distracted pedestrians, like distracted drivers, present a potential danger to themselves and drivers on the road,” Lampitt said. The proposed measure would ban walking while texting and prohibit pedestrians on public roads from using their smartphones unless they’re hands-free. There are many questions raised as to how this law will be enforced. The bill gives a frightening amount of power to the police who would be able to stop you for looking at your cell phone. The proposed bill has an immense potential to be abused by law enforcement officers. Smartphone usage accounts for 78% of pedestrian injuries, most of which include fractures, concussions, and sprains. Lamitt said the bill was needed to penalize risky behavior. Is preventing a concussion worth clogging the Courts with absurdly vague and unnecessary criminal citations? If we criminalize smartphone usage while on a sidewalk, we might as well call this nation “Land of the cited, home of the fined.” While it is true that walking with your smartphone is a nuisance and can lead to injuries, criminal citation is not the answer. This bill gives power to law enforcement officials, has a potential to be abused, and is a huge expansion of government power. This is the nightmare small-government conservatives talk about when they want less government. The bill is ridiculous and should not be implemented as law. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in the area of Criminal Defense. Call our Denver office today for a Free consultation.
Cite: Alfred NG, New York Daily News, 3/27/2018
Link: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/walking-texting-nj-land-jail-article-1.2579363

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