Investigator | Ban on texting while walking may be next

Could cellphones in crosswalks be banned?

CLEVELAND - Texting while driving is illegal.  And texting while talking and walking may be next.

Cleveland councilman Zack Reed has noticed the spike in pedestrian injuries and fatalities in Ohio and across the country.  

"They're not looking at the red light. They're not looking at the sign that says 'walk, don't walk.' They're not looking at the individual who is making a right on red," Reed said.

Reed is looking seriously at legislation passed in Honolulu that bans cellphone use in crosswalks.

Channel 3 news cameras went looking for pedestrians using their mobile devices in downtown crosswalks.  They were found at virtually every intersection that was checked.

"I've actually seen people not paying attention, crossing the street and the light is green for the car," said Kesha Parks.

Others on foot complained that the crosswalk ban would be unenforceable.

"Crosswalks are like an open space, right? How can they say that? What are they going to do? Have cops at each end of the intersection you stopping you," said Marissa Mercurio.

Maggie Gunkler said the law would be more suited for cellphone users who are unable to multi-task.  She argues she has the skill to text and talk and avoid getting hit by a car.

But David Simmers argued its a public safety issue.  "It's not a personal matter. That's why they call it public safety," he said.

Just about every state has a law against texting and driving.  But Honolulu is the first major city in the United States to ban cell phone use in crosswalks.  Councilman Reed acknowledges pedestrian accidents are up and it's for that reason he's taking a hard look at possibly introducing similar legislation in Cleveland.

 

 

 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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