Walking And Texting Now A Finable Offence For New Jersey Residents

Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: Updated: 15/05/2012 17:28

'Reckless walking' has been a finable offence in Fort Lee, New Jersey, for just one month, but already the local police department has issued 117 tickets at $85 a pop after 20 accidents were caused by distracted pedestrians strolling across the road.

It's important to note that this fine is not applicable to anyone who happens to be walking down the pavement - sorry, sidewalk - with their phones out, but only those texters and tweeters who jaywalk with their smartphones out.

"Pedestrians aren't watching where they're walking, they're not aware," says Fort Lee Police chief Thomas Ripoli, whose district covers the metropolitan borough over the Hudson River from the Bronx.

And if you're worried that this isn't all that serious an offence, here's a handy YouTube documentary that explains just what a hazard it is. Don't worry - it's actually quite funny.

But do you think law should be introduced elsewhere? Should Britain take a leaf out of Fort Lee's book and ban 'reckless walking' over here in Blighty? Let us know in the poll below.

Quick Poll

Should Britain make texting and walking a crime?

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Of course, America is famous for its unusual local laws - but that doesn't mean us Brits aren't above a peculiar piece of legislation or two, as this 'Weird British Laws' gallery proves without a doubt...


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  • In New Orleans, Louisiana, the fire code states that you are not allowed to curse a fireman when he is engaged in his official duties.

    Does swearing when you touch something really hot count? Probably not, now we think about it. <em>(Photo credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Barber, North Carolina, fights between cats and dogs are prohibited.

    They are, however, permitted to rain all they like, especially after (or during) a drought. <br><br> <em>(Picture credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Bernards Township, New Jersey, it is illegal to frown as the town is a "Frown-Free Town Zone".

    Conversely, smiling at a police officer is actively encouraged. We're guessing. <br /><br /> (Photo credit: jupiterimages)

  • In Lehigh, Nebraska, doughnut holes may not be sold.

    Not even giant ones to genius billionaire playboy philanthropists<a href="http://latimesherocomplex.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/6a00d8341c630a53ef01347fc4653d970c-600wi.jpg" target="_hplink"> such as Tony Stark here</a>. <em>(Photo credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Maryland, it's illegal to take a lion to the movies.

    An exception is made for lions of the chocolate bar variety. <em> (Photo credit: PA)</em>

  • In Longmeadow, Massachusetts, it is illegal for two men to carry a bathtub across the town green.

    It doesn't appear to be illegal to walk across the road carrying a giant pane of glass, however, which will make Buster Keaton fans happy. <em>(Photo credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Waterville, Maine, it is illegal to blow one's nose in public.

    Manners makyth man, after all - and in this town's case, manners also makyth Maine. <em>(Photo credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Louisiana, you may not tie an alligator to a fire hydrant.

    This also means that you can't tie a fire hydrant to a passing alligator, before you go getting any silly ideas. <em>(Photo credit: PA)</em>

  • In Natoma, Kansas, it's illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits.

    Forks, however, are fair game. If only Daredevil's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullseye_%28comics%29" target="_hplink">Bullseye</a> were a real person and could somehow make it down to The City sometime soon... <em>(Photo credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Chicago, Illinois, it is illegal to fish in pyjamas.

    This one actually makes sense - you'd do better to fish in a pond or a lake. <em>(Photo credit: jupiterimages)</em>

  • In Georgia, donkeys may not be kept in bathtubs.

    Unless they're actually having a bath, in which case, fair enough. <em>(Photo credit: PA)</em>

  • In Pinecrest, Florida, in order to operate a burglar alarm, a permit must be obtained.

    Here in the UK, we'd call that 'the British sense of fair play' - after all, robbery's just a bit of sport, what? <em>(Photo credit: jupiterimages)</em>

  • In Denver, Colorado, it is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next door neighbour.

    Of course, here in Britain, we have a different law - here it's illegal to lend your <em>hoover</em> to your next door neighbour. Wait, something's wrong with that sentence... <em>(Photo credit: Getty)</em>

  • In Pacific Grove, California, you can be fined $500 if you bother a butterfly.

    Unfortunately, the legal statues are unclear as to what constitutes 'bothering' when it comes to a butterfly. Whatever the weather, don't run around with a butterfly net, pretending your a Jedi - it's just not worth it. <em> (Photo credit: PA)</em>

  • In Washington state, there is a law that states that 'a motorist with criminal intentions [must] stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town.'

    And just to be polite, he should give 'em a bell when he's making his getaway. It always pays to be polite, even when you're on the lam. <em>(Photo credit: jupiterimages)</em>

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