Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Walking and Texting" shall it be banned?!

Photo: Barcroft Media via The Telegraph

FastCompany: "Texting While Walking? In China, There’s A Lane For That!"
By Beth Brainard, special to the Daily News: " In London, the problem has grown to such proportions that padded bumpers have been installed around the lampposts in certain parts of the city. In the U.S., cities are taking various approaches. New York City has chosen to lower the speed limits on some streets while Fort Lee, New Jersey, has passed a law banning texting while walking.
A 2012 study from Stony Brook University in New York states that those who text while walking are 60 percent more likely to veer off their course than non-texters. Being engrossed in conversation on the phone while walking has a similar effect.
Scientists studying mobile device use call the phenomenon "inattentive blindness." They have found that the human brain has evolved to only be able to adequately focus attention on one task at a time. In other words, when you text or talk on the phone while walking, you cannot pay full attention to both tasks.
Florida legislators are — finally — recognizing that distracted driving is a problem, but they would be wise to broaden their debate to include the increasingly dangerous problem of distracted walking."
"The US state of New Jersey may keep the inattentive among us from walking into brick walls or plunging into manholes, daggnabit, even if it has to throw us in jail or fine us to get the point across.
The Associated Press reports that it’s going to do this – in theory, at least – by banning walking while texting.
A new measure recently introduced by New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt would ban distracted walking, forbidding pedestrians on public roads from using electronic communication devices unless those devices are hands-free.
The potential penalties for violating the ban: fines of up to $50, 15 days imprisonment, or both – the same penalties handed out to jaywalkers.
As one of the majority of people (53%, according to the Pew Research Center) who’s walked into something (I admit: it was a pole) while texting, my mind turns all cartoony at the notion of distracted walking.
Imagine putting a phone into the paws of Wile E. Coyote: he’d be texting the Road Runner about dinner plans all the way down to the inevitable “Splat!” at the bottom of the mesa.
Reality is a lot nastier than that, of course."