Police In Manhattan Warn Pedestrians To Remain Alert When Walking & Talking On Cell Phones

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Police in New York City are warning people about the dangers of talking on their cell phones while walking down the street.

There’s not a street in the city where you can’t see people talking, texting or listening to music.

However, police in the Inwood section of Manhattan are reminding people to be aware of the people around you and avoid being attacked or robbed when you least expect it.

Authorities are passing out flyers to local businesses, reminding people that when they use a cell phone on the street, they make themselves a prime target.

“Usually I try to look up and make sure that while I’m multi-tasking that…no one’s watching me or I’m not being watched or something like that and that I keep moving,” Synead Nichols told CBS 2’s Kristen Thorne.

Police say don’t walk around with your phone out for all to see — put it in a pocket or purse. In addition they suggest using hands-free technology and turning the ringer off so it doesn’t attract the attention of thieves.

Authorities cautioned that using an iPod or mp3 player with headphones while on the street — even if hidden in a purse or pocket — could still signal to a thief that you have something they can steal.

People say it is sad that police even have to issue such warnings.

“Technology is taking away all of our focus, but what can we do,” Nichols said.

Do you walk, talk & text? Have you ever felt threatened or vulnerable doing so?  Tell us in the comments section…

  • kendra

    no no and no i have never had anyone bother me while texting out in publc but now i will become more aware of my surroundings and such cause there are some rather envieous people in the world of new electronics and technogy i am going to wait until i get inside the train or on the bus to text but then again i use bluetooth technology to help me combat that problem of being watched by the wrong people.

  • guys only

    every guy knows that “we can only do one thing at a time”. girls, continue texting, fixing, talking, shopping, walking, eating, driving, combing and all the other crazy things you all do so well all at once. we’ll just keep walking. sort of.

  • confused

    I’ve seen people walk out in the middle of traffic.Most people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Multi-tasking ???? Is this what we call not paying attention?

  • PaPa Joe

    While out walking I noticed a young lady walking and talking on her cell phone. She walked into a tree. I don’t know if this is funny or sad but it is dangerous. Not only is cellphone theft a possibility but a trip to the emergency ward is too. By the way, she was more embarassed than hurt.

  • kyah

    I think if it’s illegal to drive and text/talk, it should be the same while walking. Sometimes you don’t realize how unaware you are of your surroundings when you’re distracted by cell phones. I’ve had so many people walk right into me, and sometimes just before they slam into me, I holler “pay attention!” I have been known to walk & talk, but what I do is tell the person I’m on the phone with to hold on as I cross the streets, and resume the convo when I’m on the sidewalk. It’s just the right thing to do.

  • gjk

    Be affraid. Be very afraid!
    Danger lurks everywhere.
    Protect yourself and your loved ones.

    Just, please, don’t be all paranoid about it…

  • Leslie

    About a year ago my daughter was attack for the sole purpose of the perpetrators (she called them,” young thugs”) robbing her iphone in Washington Heights. She was able to find a police car immediately, train the officers in immediate shutdown of her phone so the criminals would not have the ability to use it. She and the officers found the phone not to far from the attack because they realize they could not use it or sell it. I suggest you have a backup code to shut it down in the event of a theft.

    Fortunately, she was not hurt, is more careful and the police were amazed as to how calm and quickly she went into action. The officers said they rarely ever recover phones, and they learned something new that evening..

  • RichieT

    I’ve saw people text while driving. They had it in they’re hands on the top of a steering wheel. wheel. He wee stopped at a light When the light changed, He started driving don the block. He did;t put it down. didn’t, and the didn’t. put it down. Texting walking on a phone paying no attention to anything else, almost git hit by a cab. She was in the middle of a crosswalk. The light had changed, cars were starting to move and she was in the middle of the street,

  • me

    The police department tried getting the phone companies to help out by making the phone totally useless if stolen so these street robberies would go down. But the phone companies didn’t want to help cause what do you do when your phone gets stolen? You buy another!
    And it ain’t the tourists and transplants who this is happening to. Goto the ‘hood on any day of the week, it’s S.O.P.

  • RichieT

    I had a kid try to grab my phone out of my hand while I was walking, and on my phone. He did didn’t get . I saw another one on an subway station platform, grab a phone out of a persons, hand, just as the door were closing. Didn’t even touch them.

  • Nick 1975

    More of the nanny state to mollicoddle all of these prissy midwestern transplants who obviously are new to big city life outside of Des Moine Iowa or Kansas. Obviously the cops don’t have much to do if they have to educate & mollicoddle — along with the ever present stops for not wearing a seatbelt or even attempting to text on a smartphone while driving

    • Michael H.

      “along with the ever present stops for not wearing a seatbelt or even attempting to text on a smartphone while driving”

      I was with you up until that. I hope you’re being sarcastic.

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