Editorial: Ditch the Foolish Distracted Walking Tickets

Crossing the street can be dangerous in the best conditions, but a $500 fine for looking at the phone while crossing the street won't help anything, according to this editorial.
December 7, 2017, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board has seen a few aldermen in the city of Chicago follow the lead of Honolulu (which implemented fines for crossing the street while looking at a mobile phone over the summer). Specifically, "Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, and Anthony Beale, 9th, propose to slap fines of up to $500 on pedestrians caught texting or using a cellphone while walking through an intersection."

According to the editorial, such a law "looks virtually uneforcable." More over, the $500 fine "belongs with other well-intentioned but goofy aldermanic notions, including the famous attempt to put diapers on carriage horses."

Chicago is not the only city to pile on the distracted walking bandwagon—politicians in Cleveland and Stamford, Connecticut have also mulled the idea of prohibiting distracted walking.

The Onion, at least, is more in line with the Chicago Tribune's Editorial Board, as made clear by one of their "American Voices" posts.  

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Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 in Chicago Tribune
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