California Authorities Ban Cell Phone Use at Crosswalks
MONTCLAIR, CALIFORNIA — August 3, 2018
California authorities have banned the use of mobile devices while walking across streets. The action is an effort to prevent distracted walking.
The law came into effect on Wednesday. Violating the new provision could result in a $100 fine.
The municipal code states the following: “No pedestrian shall cross a street or highway while engaged in a phone call, looking at a phone or listening to music through headphones or earbuds in both ears.”
The idea was inspired by Honolulu's new law banning 'distracted walking.'
Earlier this week, a young man who attempted to cross a street while using his cellphone was killed by a driver who was unable to break in time.
'While it was not their fault in the collision, it still could have been prevented because they were actually on the phone and they were distracted when they entered the roadway and it resulted in them being hit by a vehicle," Police Chief Robert Avels remarked regarding the incident.
He added that he's pleased with how most people have reacted to the new law. He claims that since April, police haven't had to issue even one warning.
Genevieve Lopez, who lives right across the street from Vernon Middle School, said she thinks the new law is a good idea.
"For me, it's good, because some people aren't paying attention, they're walking, looking at the phone -- they don't pay attention to the cars," Lopez said.
Jon Hamilton, a resident of Montclair, said the ordinance is aimed toward protecting children.
"Unfortunately, many of our children are turning into cellphone zombies, and while we do hope these drivers operating these machines coming down the road at high speeds are in fact paying attention, many are not," Hamilton said.
There are some exceptions — people crossing the street are still allowed to so if they are calling 911 in an emergency situation. Officials say that the aim of the law is to keep pedestrians safe.
Likely the law is a good move to promote pedestrian safety, but will it be enough to turn this generation of cell-phone zombies away from their screens?