New Jersey is going to start putting people in jail for texting while they walk

New Jersey is going to start putting people in jail for texting while they walk

CultureMarch 28, 2016 By Brian Frederick

Did you wake up today in a cold sweat because you found yourself lost trying to figure out what to do with all these freedoms? It's like, with so many choices and abilities, what are Americans supposed to do with themselves?

You could move to New Jersey, where things like independent choice and being an autonomous being are a thing of the past. Soon enough, it may be one of the first cities to ban texting and walking at the same time. 

Translation: you're allowed to use your own two feet, and you're still allowed to use your own phone — just never at the same time, under threat of a fine or 15 days in jail.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, essentially makes all distracted walking a crime.

"Distracted pedestrians, like distracted drivers, present a potential danger to themselves and drivers on the road," Lampitt says. "An individual crossing the road distracted by their smartphone presents just as much danger to motorists as someone jaywalking and should be held, at minimum, to the same penalty."

While it's stating the obvious that dealing with distracted people in public is a general nuisance and tends to be annoying as hell, suggesting that it should be a punishable offense (a jailable one at that) is batshit. Her using her workdays and seemingly influential position of power to criminalize walking while connected to a phone is — simply put — fucking ridiculous. It's comical, really.

What next, a fine for breathing while you have bad breath or daydreaming while waiting in line for a frozen yogurt? 

The proposal is garnering opposition, but only because others feel like it would be a hard law to enforce, citing the obvious, that police often have more important things to do like, oh we don't know, solve real crimes and save lives and whatnot. Nobody within Lampitt's direct line of peers, to our knowledge, is calling her out on what a fucking stupid idea this really is and how restrictive it is on personal freedoms. 

We're sorry, we thought this was America!