distracted walking toronto

Should Toronto make distracted walking illegal?

New Jersey is the latest American state that's taking "distracted walking" seriously enough to introduce a bill that would ban using your phone while walking, unless it's hands-free.

In Toronto, distracted walking is perfectly legal, and it's rare to see someone without their phone in hand while walking down the street. Imagine getting hit with a $50 fine or having to sit in a jail cell for 15 days because you were busy checking out Norm Kelly's latest tweets.

Okay, the jail time would never happen, but those penalties - which are the same as those for jaywalking - are what New Jersey citizens would be looking at if the bill passes.

We already have laws against jaywalking (fines can reach $110), smoking in public areas (e.g. on patios) and most recently, vaping in public. These rules were put in place because of health and safety concerns, but is a similar danger to the public interest at hand when it comes to walking and texting?

As both a victim and perpetrator of distracted walking (and as someone who is directionally challenged and constantly using my phone for directions), I vote no. That said, the idea got me curious as to what other think about such an idea.

We reached out on social media to see what the consensus was out there. Have a look at the results below and let us know where you stand in the comments.


Photo by Chris Smart in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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