Now that Evanston has banned cell phone use while driving — the question arises — should a similar ban apply to pedestrians?

A New York state lawmaker wants to ban texting, talking or using iPods while out walking or running. He hasn’t yet gotten the state legislature to go along with him, but police in Fort Lee, N,J., got some ink recently when they cracked down on jaywalking — including distractedly crossing the street while texting.

And researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have concluded that people can’t walk in a straight line while they’re texting.

So what do you think? Should Evanston ban texting while walking?

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Texting while walking

    Texting while walking is one thing – only two people texting at the same time are going to collide with any sort of force, and shame on them.  When you put one-ton objects in the picture, that's a different story.  And you know the insurance is going to blame the driver.

  2. How much control

    How much control should government have relative to our personal lives? How will such a law be enforced? Daily, I encounter a minimum of 10 drivers using their phones while driving and there are no police offiicers around. What's the point of  creating laws that are not enforced? What's next……hiring folks to enforce such laws….the Electronic Device Prohibition Officers?

  3. Texting while walking—Darwin Winners

    At least those foolish enough to text or listen to their I-Pod when walking will get their recognition as Darwin Prize winners earlier than they would have before such devices.  As it is they walk into traffic, bikes, other pedestrians [who may also be texting] and alert criminals that they are not paying attention and ripe for robberyor even letting they in their building.

    The same would be true of those on cell phones or texting while driving but in this case they not only harm/kill themselves but others.

    Maybe the I-Pod and texting was designed on purpose to clean out the gene pool.

  4. Ban texting while walking

    Having had to slam on my brakes for people texting and not watching where they are going, I would support this, even though I don't like to have more laws. I think cell phone use while moving any way should be banned (with the possible exception of horseback riding, since horses are pretty smart, and the one time I saw texting from horseback there seemed to be no problems). Bicycles swerve while using cell phones and cross streets without stopping.

  5. Hypocritical

    I laugh at all of this because in just the last several months I have seen members of the Evanston Police force in their squad cars talking on a phone – and not blue tooth. Can I make a citizen's arrest next time?

    As far as walking or jogging — NO — many ppl jog or work out and need that to walk, Enough is enough!

    Are you going to ban eating in the car? No kids or talking at all in the car? No radios in cars? All of which can be distractions?

    Sick of this concentration on the WRONG things in Evanston? We are SOOO poorly fiscally managed yet it seems no one cares about that.

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