The debate surrounding the idea of “distracted walking” takes to new heights as the Honolulu City Council proposes a bill that will legally limit pedestrian cell phone use. Should the bill pass, it will be against the law for a pedestrian in Hawaii to look at their phone while crossing the street. However, controversy arises as it will still not be illegal to look at your phone while driving a car through the very same intersection.
A recent study released by Ohio State University claims that pedestrian injuries involving a cell phone are rapidly rising. The study reported that cell phones cause more than 1,000 serious pedestrian injuries every year. The researchers claim this number is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that thousands more pedestrian injuries occur each year that are not categorized as serious.
Laws that limit pedestrian cell phone use claim to have an ultimate goal of pedestrian safety. If pedestrians are forced to be more alert in the street, they are less likely to be hit by a car. But many people feel that these laws do nothing but pass the blame to the pedestrian by implying that the pedestrian cell phone use was the reason the accident occurred.
Is “Distracted Walking” More Dangerous Than “Distracted Driving”?
Dash mounted cell phone systems, navigation and GPS computers, and smartphone compatible technology have become standard features available in almost every new car on the market today. This recent boom in smartphone compatible vehicle technology arguably promotes using a cell phone while driving. The idea that drivers are being encouraged to use their phones while pedestrians are being discouraged to use their phones is an indication to many that lawmakers believe pedestrians are at fault when injuries occur.
There are plenty of people who are not opposed to the bill but feel that a law against only one side is not fair. If pedestrians are not allowed to use their cell phone while walking in an intersection, then drivers of vehicles should also not be allowed to use their cell phones while driving through an intersection. That way when an accident occurs, both sides may be considered as potentially at fault.
Reminding both pedestrians and drivers that distractions are dangerous and staying focused on your environment leads to a greater level of safety for everyone is a mission of the law office of Urban & Taylor, S.C. Our legal team is dedicated to doing our part to keep every pedestrian and driver in the state of Wisconsin safe.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of an accident caused by distraction and carelessness, a Milwaukee car accident lawyer can help. Contact Urban & Taylor, S.C. today for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.
5 Tips for Biking Safely in Wisconsin