I have a smartphone, too. Walking on sidewalks, in stores and malls, and maybe in a crosswalk sometimes I’m using my cellphone. But I try to stay connected to my environment. I never thought the government needed to cite me for using my cellphone in a reasonable manner.
A proposed ordinance on using distracting devices like cellphones while crossing tracks of the Salt Lake City light rail system may not have passed a semi-scoffing Utah Legislature, but when Philly officials taped an “e-lane” for distracted pedestrians, some didn’t think it was a joke.
It’s obvious that a wide range of folks walk and text, walk and tweet, walk and Facebook post, and walk and search for funny cats. But how serious is not distracted driving, but distracted texting? And what’s the government’s role in what we use and how we use it while we walk in public?
This is a nice WaPo piece that touches on government regulation for the purposes of public safety. I’d be interested to see another piece on public attitude. How do people feel about everyone walking and smartphone-using? And what effects does that have on how people in a city like DC get along and do things like empathize with others?
Bonus: How does smartphone use while walking in public affect community in a city not like DC, but instead one like small-town South Dakota?
- One of the last things Chance Bothe texted before his crash nearly happened to him. He was having an argument with his friend via text when he typed, “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.”