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Nationwide epidemic: Should NYC put a ban on texting while walking?

Posted at 8:15 PM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 20:19:30-04

NEW YORK (PIX11) — It’s an epidemic that’s sweeping not only our area but the country — the act of texting while walking.

The trend has become an undeniable nuisance as well as a public hazard.

Accidents involving texting walkers has dramatically increased over the past 10 years and it shows no signs of slowing down. According to statistics released by emergency rooms nationwide, incidents have more than tripled since 2004.

Brian Crowley of Brooklyn thinks he has a handle on the technique of walking and texting, but knows when and where to do it.

“Walking and texting is a difficult skill which I can master but today I am just a little less focused,” he told PIX11 News on the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street. “In a busy area like this, it just makes a lot of sense to stop and get it done.”

PIX 11 cameras caught nearly 20 offenders within 20 minutes walking and texting near Union Square Park Wednesday afternoon.

Actor and New Yorker Malik Yoba even took notice, talking to PIX 11 on the hot issue.

“The thing that fascinates me the most though is, who knew that the human being had the capacity to even do that,” the actor said, mocking the distracted texters. “What is that? I personally bump into people when they do that.”

Although there’s no immediate plans to implement a ban in New York City, it hasn’t stopped other cities from penalizing those who walk and text. Last year, Fort Lee police in New Jersey started issuing $85 tickets for texting and walking offenders.