People have developed the habit of texting while crossing the street, which is causing problems for New York City taxi drivers and others. Picture: AAP/David Clark
People have developed the habit of texting while crossing the street, which is causing problems for New York City taxi drivers and others. Picture: AAP/David Clark

The city pushing to ban texting

A PROPOSED state law would slap stiff fines on pedestrians who text and ­email on their phones while crossing the street - and frustrated motorists are already tooting their horns in support.

"There will be a green light and people will still be texting in the middle of the street," cabbie Carlos Rodriguez complained to The Post while waiting near New York's Penn Station on Thursday.

"I stop so I don't hit the person, then I get a $US110 ($A160) ticket for stopping at a green light. I'm sick of it!"

The law would impose fines of $US25 ($A36) to $US50 ($A73) on first-time offenders, while death-wish texters who stride right back into the pedestrian crossing and repeat the offence within 18 months would be hit with fines as high as $US250 ($A364).

The proposal is still in committee in both the state Senate and Assembly, but the idea is already on a collision course with pedestrians who seemingly believe texting in traffic is their God-given right as New Yorkers.

 

New York politicians say texting while crossing the road is particularly harazdous. Picture: AAP/David Clark
New York politicians say texting while crossing the road is particularly harazdous. Picture: AAP/David Clark

 

People have become accustomed to using their phones and walking into the path of oncoming traffic. Now New York politicians are proposing a tough new law. Picture: AAP/David Clark
People have become accustomed to using their phones and walking into the path of oncoming traffic. Now New York politicians are proposing a tough new law. Picture: AAP/David Clark

"What a dumb proposal," scoffed Chris Werner, 36, who barely looked up from his phone as he crossed West 32nd Street.

"I'm still going to text while crossing."

Alejandro Cerda, 29, agreed as he texted his way across Seventh Avenue at 27th Street.

"Can we vote these politicians out of office since they're brain dead?" said the Lower East Side resident.

The law would include the use of any kind of "portable electronic device" - meaning laptops and electronic gaming devices - although it exempts texting during an emergency.

But it's aimed primarily at people who text and walk, say sponsors Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (Democrat, Bronx) and Sen. John Liu (Democrat, Queens).

"I have been receiving so many complaints from people saying, 'Please ban text messaging when people are crossing,' " Mr Ortiz said.

 

This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.



UPDATE: Crews extinguish Gladstone region hotel fire

premium_icon UPDATE: Crews extinguish Gladstone region hotel fire

EMERGENCY services have been called to the Miriam Vale Hotel where a fire has been...

BRIGGSY’S BIRDS: It’s swooping season

premium_icon BRIGGSY’S BIRDS: It’s swooping season

Spring time means Australian Magpies are starting to breed.

Why the port is on the 'verge of unprecedented opportunity'

premium_icon Why the port is on the 'verge of unprecedented opportunity'

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation is on the ‘verge of unprecedented opportunity’ with two...