Entries in Pedestrians (3)


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


Search for SoCal Gunman After 5 Shootings in 2 Weeks

Thinkstock/Comstock(CARSON, Calif.) -- Authorities are on the hunt for a gunman responsible for five shootings in a two-week period in Carson, Calif., and the neighboring Harbor Gateway area of Southern California.

The gunman, armed with a shotgun, hit a pedestrian as well as four motorists or their vehicles on or around the heavily traveled 110 Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. One motorist was seriously injured.

The first shooting was reported April 18, when a woman was shot in the arm as she walked down Main Street, authorities said. Four days later, a woman’s car was hit by birdshot as she drove down Normandie Avenue.

The following day, according to officials, the gunman fired on another vehicle at the Carson Street freeway exit.

On April 26, there were two more shootings an hour apart, authorities said. First, a car headed down Figueroa Street was hit, and less than an hour later another motorist was shot in the ear as he drove his 2008 Honda Accord on the 110 Freeway.

“All shootings happened in the same general area,” said Sgt. Marc Lucia of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. “The shots failed to penetrate the car except in the case where it hit a windshield. The rounds he used were not high-powered, [but were] more of a low-capacity round like birdshot.”

Both injured shooting victims were treated at a hospital and released.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol investigators are meeting to compare notes, tips and a description of the suspect Wednesday.

“We don’t have a description of the suspect yet, but both teams are working together to provide more details,” said Sgt. Dave Nelms of the California Highway Patrol.

Nelms urged residents to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.

“Often, people are in a comfort zone when they enter their vehicles and drive but it’s important to be alert,” he said. “If you see anything that is out of the ordinary, call the police.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lawmakers Seek to Crack Down on Distracted Pedestrians

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lawmakers in New York and Arkansas are taking aim at pedestrians who are distracted by electronic devices while running or walking on sidewalks and streets.

New York Sen. Carl Kruger is looking to impose a fine on walkers or joggers using a cell phone, iPod, or other electronic device while crossing the street in a big city.

"If somebody is found using a cell phone or texting or receiving an instant message while crossing the street then they would be subject to a $100 fine," Kruger said.

The senator added that the fine would not be wiped out by simply mailing in a check.

"You get the fine, you have to appear in court, you have to lose some time.  You have to appear before a judge.  You're gonna get admonished for what you did.  And you're going to have to pay that civil fine," he said.

Kruger said the proposed fine is not a ploy to raise money but rather the result of reported deaths around the country in connection to distracted pedestrians.  Of those deaths, two were in his district in Brooklyn, where, in one incident, he said "a gentleman was standing on the corner, ready to cross the street, wired into his iPod, crosses over, walks right into a New York City bus."

Moreover, Arkansas Sen. Jimmy Jeffress is proposing a bill that would forbid pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears when they are on or near streets, intersections or highways, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio