A sign that provides a warning for distracted texters.We’ve all seen it. We’ve all seen that person who walks with their head down while staring at their smart phone instead of looking ahead to what might be coming on their path.

Most of the time this maneuver is performed without any accidental results, yet every once in a while it can end in disaster. At best that disaster is bumping into another passerby, at worst its walking into a moving car.

A rumor circulated recently that a small town in New Jersey had legally outlawed texting while walking. It turns out that the rumor was false, but steps have been made in the town to keep its texters safe.

What the Cities Can Do

While walking and texting might never be made illegal, some cities have been cracking down on crossing the road without using a crosswalk. As a frequent j walker myself, I find this enforcement to be tough but fair.

Programs can be implemented that reward pedestrians for following the rules or helping others to do the same. The city could even buy adspace that reminds people to take care of their mobile social media needs at a less distracted time.

What People Can Do

The ultimate responsibility of safety lies with the people. Texting while driving has become a serious issue almost everywhere, and so should texting while walking.

Padding added to a post to protect a distracted texter.While traveling by foot, I think people just need to keep their phone interactions very brief. If something is proving to be too big of a distraction, just sit down for 5 minutes and take care of it.

It really is amazing just how many things can be done with a smart phone. They have made our lives much more productive but also much more distracted.

Chances are you could text while you walk all day and nothing bad would ever happen, yet the fact remains that there are accidents caused every day by distracted pedestrians. What else could be done to improve the safety of our streets as smart phone use continues to rise?

Scott Sundblom