Nevada’s Harvey Munford (D-Las Vegas) recently proposed Assembly Bill 123, a texting while walking (TWW) ban.

by Steffi Lee

Under this bill, texting while walking would be completely banned across all state roads.

This proposal shines light on a heavy subject. While texting during driving is an offense in many states, texting while walking can be just as dangerous and people need to be aware of this situation.

Texting and walking is a challenging feat. Pedestrians are ultimately distracted and are prone to injurious accidents. With impaired cautionary instincts, the outcome of texting and walking could even be deadly.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Munford was motivated to introduce this bill after a complaint from a resident became evident as he actively sought out people guilty of texting and walking.

“When kids get out of school, where they’ve been banned from using their phones all day, they go immediately to their texts,” Munford said to the Los Angeles Times.

The statistics also illustrate the danger of texting and walking. The Mother Nature Network states how a recent study showed more than half the people observed texted while walking, and 73 percent of the 13-to-17 year olds observed were also guilty of this.

Munford’s proposal was also a result of a recent study by the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. Its data shows one-in-four pedestrians in the study did not abide by crossing rules and were also participating in the riskiest behavior: texting while walking.

But dangers plaguing pedestrians don’t simply stop at texting on a mobile device. It involves all potential distractions while crossing a street, such as listening to music or talking on the mobile device.

Junior Katie Gaughan has almost experienced an accident relating to texting while walking. Gaughan was actually running while listening to music on her iPod.

“I was on a run, and I was in a residential part of the neighbourhood,” said Gaughan. “I didn’t recognize the different stop signs and so I was running, and I stopped to change the music on my iPod to a different song, and I was looking at my iPod and changing it. Right as I was doing that, a car was crossing that didn’t have a stop sign across the intersection and was about, maybe two inches from ramming into me.”

Gaughan said this incident taught her to pay attention to her surroundings when working with media devices, and that it also made her become cautious of everything in the moment.

“Not paying attention and messing with my iPod could have seriously gotten me killed or super hurt,” Gaughan said.

Every pedestrian should work hard to ensure his or her safety. As great as it feels to indulge in quick and efficient communication, or listen to music during exercise, safety comes first.