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Texting While Walking: Much Needed Life Skill Or Just Inviting Danger?

Residents Agree On This Much -- Lawmakers Have No Place Legislating It

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We all seem to do it at one time or another. We walk down a busy street and furiously send text messages while not watching where we are going.

Should there be a law that helps curb this possibly unsafe habit?

In recent years, New York State Sen. Carl Kruger of Brooklyn has unsuccessfully introduced legislation that would curb the use of portable electronic devices while pedestrians are crossing the street.

But the issue hasn’t gone away.

We all know it’s illegal to drive while texting. But, imagine if it was illegal to walk while texting. The idea was recently floated in Philadelphia. While the mayor there said it won’t happen, just the idea has people in New York City talking, reports CBS 2’s Mark Morgan.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said Robert Kurzyna of Queens.

While some admit that walking while looking down at your phone can be dangerous, others say it’s a necessary skill in today’s world of multitasking.

“Yes it can cause a problem. I’ll be honest about that,” said William Luberes of Manhattan.

“When you learn how to do it, you learn how to look around and do it at the same time,” said John Palino of Babylon, N.Y.

Glenn Susarchick drives a pedi-cab in Manhattan, and he has seen first hand the result of texting while not paying attention.

“Every day I see them walk right in front, nearly get hit by buses, cars, bicycles. It’s terrible,” Susarchick said.

When asked if she thinks it’s dangerous to text while you walk, Tabia Wood of Brooklyn said, “absolutely, that’s why I wasn’t texting; I was Google mapping people.” She then added, when asked if there’s a difference, “yes, I’m trying to find where I’m going.”

“I just look up and look down at the same time. I didn’t fall, right? It’s a risk. You’re taking a risk,” added Vanessa Darcheville of Brooklyn.

And apparently, it’s a risk that many New Yorkers are very comfortable taking.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.



  • Daniel P

    NO, we DON’T ALL “seem to do it at one time or another. We walk down a busy street and furiously send text messages while not watching where we are going.” I have NEVER done that for the simple reason that my celfone does not have that capability. I think it’s 1954-vintage).

  • Lisa

    How is this a “life skill”? Anyone who believes that is a self-centered idiot. And no, NOT “everyone” has done it – when I need to text I step to the curb and stop, because I am thoughtful enough to not want to slam into my fellow New Yorkers as I hurry down the street, so absorbed in my little machine that I can’t be bothered to acknowledge the city and the people around me.

  • jen

    sure. lets have a law for everything that can possibly be dangerous. please, government, force me to be everything you want me to be. i cannot possibly decide how to act on my own.

  • Lee

    I hate it when they stop right in the middle of the sidewalk, subway stairways, or even when they get off an escalator…like they are the only one around! Step to the side, MORONS! Get your nose out of your electronics and think!!

  • vicky

    Texting is lame, what did people do before they were electronically attached to 500 friends.

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