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Entries in Fort Lee (2)

Monday
May142012

Texting While Jaywalking? New Jersey Town Issues Tickets

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(FORT LEE, N.J.) -- If you’re caught texting while crossing the street in Fort Lee, N.J., you’d better be ready to cough up $85 for a ticket.

Police Chief Thomas Ripoli said that jaywalking had become a dangerous problem with pedestrians traveling while distracted by technology, be it their cellphones or mp3 players.

“They’re not walking in the crosswalks. They’re walking against the red light, and they’re being struck by vehicles,” Ripoli said Monday. “We had three fatalities this year, and 23 people hurt, hit, [in] a three-month period.”

Last year, 74 pedestrians were struck and two people were killed in Fort Lee, a city of 35,000, just across the Hudson River from New York City.

Officers started handing out pamphlets in March, but Ripoli said that when residents didn’t heed the warnings, the police started ticketing offenders.

According to The Record, the local newspaper, more than 117 tickets had been issued so far.

In 2008, according to an Ohio State University study, more than 1,000 people -- double the previous year’s number -- visited emergency rooms after they were injured while walking and talking on the telephone.

Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York found that texters were 60 percent more likely to veer off line than those walking and not texting.

Chief Ripoli said he hoped the jaywalking crackdown would encourage the public to become smarter when traveling on foot.

He said the tickets had nothing to do with collecting more money for the city.

“I’m here to make sure my officers and the public are safe,” he said. “We believe you should make eye contact with the vehicles when you’re crossing....Technology is interfering a little bit with the safety of the public.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May132012

Texting While Walking Banned in New Jersey Town

ABC News(FORT LEE, N.J.) -- Avid texters beware: Fort Lee, N.J. police said they will begin issuing $85 jaywalking tickets to pedestrians who are caught texting while walking.

“It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” said Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department.

Ripoli said the borough, which is home to approximately 35,000 residents, has suffered three fatal pedestrian-involved accidents this year. He hopes his crackdown on people who display dangerous behavior while walking will make his town safer, but not everyone is on board with the idea of issuing $85 tickets.

“When I walk I still look around. I’m not like constantly looking down the whole time,” said resident Sue Choe.

Another woman complained the tickets were “a lot of money.”

Officers handed out pamphlets during a short grace period in March before they began aggressively going after “dangerous walkers.”

More than 117 tickets have been issued, according to the New Jersey Record.

Two professors at Stony Brook University in New York conducted a study on walking and texting. They found texters are 60 percent more likely to veer off line than non-texters.

“We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting,” Eric Lamberg, co-author of the study, told Long Island Business News. “Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking.”

 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio