STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Drivers aren’t the only ones who could be fined for texting or talking.

Now, there’s a proposal to keep pedestrians safe that could set off a national trend.

Crossing busy Broad Street in downtown Stamford can be a challenge, even if you’re not staring down at text messages on your cell phone.

“I see mothers pushing their babies, they’re texting and I’m like how do y’all do all this at this intersection? That scares me,” Dawn Thompson said.

“There been many times where I looked down on my phone and then notice that there’s a car coming right at me, and I feel like a moron whenever that happens,” Nicole Neurohr said.

Texting or even talking on an electronic device may soon be illegal in Stamford if a proposal to outlaw ‘distracted walking’ is approved.

“They’re oblivious to cars,” Stamford City representative, John Zelinsky said.

Zelinsky said the Pedestrian Safety Ordinance is modeled after one approved in Honolulu late last month, and would carry a $30 fine if police catch you in the act.

“I don’t want any more injuries or deaths as a result of pedestrians getting hit. We’ve had about four or five within the past three or four years,” he said.

Nationwide pedestrian fatalities jumped about 11 percent last year with nearly 6,000 people killed according to the National Governors’ Highway Safety Association.

While most people in Stamford seemed to like the idea, others asked, do you really need to legislate common sense?

“I think that’s ridiculous,” Troy Latham said.

Latham certainly doesn’t like the idea of a $30 fine or being forced to hang up.

“If it’s an important text message or call they’re getting, like what if it’s too late, what if their mother’s in the hospital and they need someone to call real quick,” Latham said.

There would be an exception for 911 calls, and Zelinsky said the fines really aren’t the point.

“This is not actually to raise money for the city, but to hopefully educate the public,” he said.

You may want to hang up and look the next time you see the ‘walk’ sign.



Comments (59)
  1. If you have the walk sign, shouldn’t the drivers be stopping for you?

  2. Genius! Let’s try to legislate common sense while we’re at it, and eliminate all of these potential accidents altogether. Or, maybe we should legislate smartphones out of existence and eliminate the source of all of this concern! Or, wait–let’s legislate cars out of existence and then nobody would ever die in a car wreck!! There you go, problem solved.

  3. David Shaw says:

    Silly liberals, always trying to engineer a left wing utopia.

  4. Let them get Darwin Awards for their stupidity and to improve our species. The only law that prevents stupidity is the law of Nature.

  5. Not everything needs a law. Drivers are banned because it could kill someone else. Walking? You might as well outlaw stupidity. Stop this Big Brother crap!!!

  6. “This is not actually to raise money for the city, but to hopefully educate the public,” ….. No, I suspect this is to raise money for the city….

  7. OFGS !! Adults, – walk like adults, children – hold the adult’s hand and walk nicely …
    give me a EFing break … they have to make laws on how to walk on the freaking sidewalk ??

  8. Paul Roberts says:

    “Stamford Officials Eye Legislation That Would Outlaw ‘Distracted Walking’” Nazis! Loss of freedom. Let me guess…it was a Liberal that suggested this?

  9. Good! What is so important on that phone that one would sacrifice their own safety?

    1. “Good”.. these morons who don’t know how to walk on a sidewalk will need police and minders to help them ? You will pay for that, they don’t do it for free. Just start fining every one of the idiots who walks against a light or whatever .. make some money for the town and teach the morons a lesson.

    2. Vox Veritas says:

      Why, an email from a wealthy Nigerian prince, of course.

  10. Jay Barbieri says:

    Isn’t life in a free country wonderful?
    I wonder what it would be like.

  11. The land of the free?

    Where is this liberty and bravery I keep hearing about?

    1. Jay Barbieri says:

      It’s been a lie for as long as I can remember. 64 and counting.

      1. Then leave and go to where you’d be happy, if that’s possible.

  12. Those who are continually willing to sacrifice freedom in the pursuit of security will soon have neither one.

  13. Even in my small city of 80,000, it’s money, money, money. Keep it flowing because of all the unionized empolyees’ money demands of the captive city councils, ALL OF IT IN SECRET. With no guts or ability to stop the union demands, city councils can only coerce more money from the already-overburdened-by-taxes citizenry in the form of fines and fees.

  14. “four or five within the past three or four years”

    So you’re creating a new opportunity for police to accost people because approximately once a year some foolish pedestrian gets themselves hit.

    That’s not what this is about. This is about busy bodies being annoyed because people are looking at their phones. It bothers them that all these workaday drones are stumbling about coiled around their iphones and failing to smile and nod like busy bodies expect them to. And so the busy bodies reach for the government ban hammer to outlaw inconsequential behavior because it rubs them the wrong way.

  15. Got it. So when I’m legally walking within a crosswalk and I get a text I really want to read, now I know I need to stop first in the middle of the crosswalk and read it because continuing to walk in the crosswalk to the other side of the street while simultaneously being aware of my surroundings and making sure I stay within the cross walk and reading a text message is well beyond my capabilities and that would be really unsafe so will be illegal. So glad the government is looking out for my safety. 🙂

    1. it is precisely that kind of absurd ‘logic’ that you and too many others share that these laws come into play. Have a great day.

      1. The “absurd” logic was actually tongue in cheek sarcasm making fun of yet more legislators who seem to have too much time on their hands. But I’m not being sarcastic when I say have a great day too.:)

  16. of course, because look how distracted driving ended when laws were passed!

  17. Jamie Bryant says:

    ha!!! People…free speech is under siege… :-\

    1. Typical of the nanny state. Make everyone into a criminal; impose fines to increase the revenue of a malevolent government.
      How pathetic!

  18. Jamie Bryant says:

    i give up…second time posting, didn’t show up….lemme try something…

    Obama was a great president!!

    I wonder if my post will show, because I said Obama was great….

  19. Keith Smith says:

    and Zelinsky said the fines really aren’t the point.

    Then WHY levy the fines if they aren’t important?

  20. Jamie Bryant says:

    that’s weird…my long post didn’t show…but my ‘test’ did. *sigh* CBS has ‘filters’ on this page. Certain word usage, will deny your post.

  21. Barry Wulfe says:

    So, I presume that GPS navigation for walking directions is to be forbidden! I guess Apple needs to add a “Do not disturb, while breathing” mode to iOS.

  22. Darren Davis says:

    Typical nanny state laws from liberal bureaucrats. For those who think this is a good idea, you will lose your rights too. It might be your right to speak about Christ in a public place.

  23. Stan Pinkus says:

    I thought Conn had ultra smart liberals

  24. Rich Owens says:

    1) Nanny Progressives don’t like it so they want to make behavior illegal and have another way to control and take away a little more freedom.
    2) It is about additional revenue stream. Stupid that cops will have to take time to write tickets for this.

  25. 1. Of course it is a way to raise money!!!
    2..”We’ve had about four or five within the past three or four years,” he said. Typical over reaction to a made up crises. Seems like he did not do his home work very well. If asked for names and dates he could not provide them is suspect. Just another step toward controlling every aspect of peoples lives.

  26. “There been many times where I looked down on my phone and then notice that there’s a car coming right at me, and I feel like a moron whenever that happens,” Nicole Neurohr said.”
    You feel that way, because you are.

  27. Rob Cater says:

    Doesn’t DARWIN have a way of dealing with these people? Why do the nazi-liberal fascists insist on yet another law?

  28. The inattention of these smartphone users will prove that death befalls one and all.

  29. Rob Bruce says:

    Notice how the leftards phrase it, “pedestrian safety”? This is right out of page one of the leftard playbook.

  30. Considering pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks, they should be able to do whatever the hell they want while crossing–even in liberal hellholes like Stamford, CT.

    1. YES , the painted crosswalk will protect you with “you have the right of way “..step right out front of that oncoming bus

  31. Stu Pedasso says:

    One reason I really hate Liberal knuckleheads is that they think they know how to live your life soooo much better than you do. So if you’re texting and fall into a wishing well then it was a stupid thing to do, but it’s on you.

  32. Elisi Newell says:

    What I love is when they are on their phones texting, the walking sign states do not walk and at that time the idiot decides to walk and text. One got so absorbed reading a text that she actually stopped in the middle of the crosswalk on busy Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd., in Studio City. It took a car honking at her to bring her back to reality. As soon as she finally got her butt out of the way and got to the other crosswalk, she was back at it again. Time to start letting stupid deal with their own desire to live or die. If they are that ignorant. They deserve what they get.

  33. rustyarmor says:

    There is so much human behavior that needs to be corrected by the city fathers. When are they going to do something about public flatulence? That is a far bigger issue to me than someone trying to stay in touch with their friends ….

  34. Craig Book says:

    How about some legislation preventing people from proposing legislation infringing upon peoples basic rights and fining morons proposing them.

  35. In WA state, you can get a ticket for eating or drinking anything while driving…in addition to using a cell phone.

  36. I figured that they would just ban cars. Isn’t that the way that all the progressive governments want to go?

  37. And who will answer the 911 emergency calls while the police are handing out summons ?

  38. jb80538 says:

    Stop with the laws protecting idiots from themselves. Just let nature take its course and thin the herd

  39. Can I be the first to sue for violation of my first amendment rights?


    1. Leftism is a religious cult. They have the fallen nature, Capitalism. Salvation is Socialism. The prophets are the oppressed class representatives. Heaven is Communism and Hell is the free market.

      They admire Islam so it goes to prove they would join in a jihad to kill and oppress the infidels who refuse their Messiah, Barak Hussein Obama and his coming queen mother Hillary.

      Liberalism is the biggest threat to the American way of life…Liberals hate Americans, the Constitution, and free market capitalism. They have destroyed our economy with measures like the ACA and immigration amnesty. The “Affordable” Care Act has been nothing short of a disaster. My health insurance bill is up to $450/month. (Compare this to my $25/month auto insurance from Insurance Panda or my $10/month renters insurance… both private enterprise!) Keep your hands off us!

      I hope all of you Obama voters have gotten what you voted for. Race relations are back to where they were 40 years ago (no worse) and we have a President and complicit media complex working in cahoots to cede our rights and prosperity to the third world. You liberals all must be so proud.

  41. JVossos says:


  42. This is not to actually raise money for the city. ……………. yes it is!!!

  43. Ann Fisher says:

    Don’t ASSUME these “distracted walking” tickets will only be issued to citizens crossing the streets while “distracted”, laws like this, since they generate REVENUE for the city always tend to overreach and start being applied everywhere unless it specifically limits where citizens can be cited for this new “crime”.

  44. The gov’t now wants to regulate everyone because there are people who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

  45. Ken Green says:

    Pedestrian helmets should also be required.

    1. Guido Jones says:

      Perhaps made out of tinfoil to ease the voices in the progs’ heads

  46. Adam Wood says:

    Where does this stop? Government run amok.

  47. Nanny State. Bubble wrap not included.

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