Chicago proposes ban on ‘distracted walking’

Chicago may follow Hawaii in fining pedestrians who use mobile devices while walking. Diane Hodges reports.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS AND HONOLULU, HAWAII, UNITED STATES (CBS / REUTERS) – It seems everyone with a smart phone does it–using their device while crossing the street.

But in Chicago, some may soon have to pay for it.

A new law proposed in the city would fine anyone who texts or talks on their cellphone while crossing the street.

Some are calling it a good idea.

SOT: “I think its a problem” BUTTED TO SOT: “It’s dangerous. they’re not looking”

But the price is raising eyebrows…90-dollars the first time, 500 dollars for repeat offenders.

SOT: “500 dollars because I’m distracted!? Wow” BUTTED TO: “These people have lost their minds. That is not the Chicago way.”

But it IS the Hawaii way. That state became the first in the U.S. to outlaw what it calls “distracted walking” last month.

However, offenders there face fines of only 15 dollars for a first offense, maxxing out at 99 dollars.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reserving judgment — for now.

SOT: Mayor Rahm Emanuel/Chicago: “Everybody does it and then everybody is irritated when someone else does it. So my total view is I want to look at it. I think it has something to do with people’s own safety.”

City officials say 27 pedestrians have have been killed in Chicago so far — that’s one more than last year.

Supporters say the proposed law can help keep those numbers from rising further.

Associated Links

  • Walking
  • Transport
  • Fining
  • Hodges
  • Pedestrian