Should Distracted Walking Be Illegal in Iowa?
It's illegal to text and drive in Iowa and many other states. Should it also be illegal to walk while you're messing with your phone? At least three cities say 'Yes.'
Montclair, California is one city that has such a law on the books. It levies a $100 fine against those who are guilty of "distracted walking." If you're looking at your phone, wearing headphones, or talking on your phone when crossing the street in Montclair, you can be ticketed. You're exempt if you're calling 911, have hearing aids, or are a first responder who's on duty.
You don't want to make the mistake more than once in Montclair, either. Your first offense is $100. The second time it costs you $200. Every time after that, you'll owe the city a hefty $500. Montclair, a suburb of Los Angeles, put the law into effect on January 3 of this year, but they're not alone. Stamford, Connecticut and Honolulu, Hawaii also have distracted walker laws on the books.
We've all seen videos where people crash into things looking at their phones but is this really a huge safety problem? According to Mental Floss, research says it's not. Still, I like the idea for one major reason that doesn't have anything to do with pedestrian safety. If our phones were in our pocket or purse, we'd be a whole lot more likely to say 'Hello' when passing somebody on the street. That would be a good thing because this world could certainly use a little more friendliness.