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Dangerous Walking: Fort Lee, New Jersey Cracks Down On Walking While Texting

Posted: 05/11/2012 11:51 am Updated: 05/14/2012 11:52 am

Dangerous Walking
Cell phone to your ear? Death metal in the headphones? You may get cited in Fort Lee.

You've heard of reckless driving -- now they're cracking down on reckless walking!

CBS New York reports that Fort Lee, N.J. police are going after dangerous walkers. Those who text while walking against traffic signals or who wander into traffic while listening to death metal on their iPod (and other distractors) are potential targets of the crackdown.

There is no rule on the books against dangerous walking, but police told CBS they'd know it when they saw it.

"It's a big distraction," Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas Ripoli told MYFOXNY. "pedestrians aren't watching where they're walking, they're not aware."

MYFOX notes that the new initiative comes after more than 20 pedestrians were hit by cars so far this year in Fort Lee.

FOX News radio reports that texting while walking on the sidewalk or even in the street won't be considered an infraction. But when texting leads to pedestrians disobeying traffic signs or other rules, that's when citations will be issued.

“It’s not about the summonses, it’s just education and trying to keep the safety of everyone,” Ripoli told FOX Radio.

Some Fort Lee residents are up in arms about the new crackdown. One pedestrian said the $85 fine is excessive.

"I think that's kind of crazy," the unidentified woman told MyFoxPhilly. That's a lot of money."

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Filed by Simon McCormack  |