by AMANDA VALADEZ
Signs have been posted saying “LOOK UP! Drivers aren’t always looking out for you” in Fort Lee, New Jersey. They have recently been giving out tickets for “careless walking”. Fort Lee police chief, Thomas Ripoli, are holding pedestrians accountable by asking them to be more aware. The fee for the ticket is $85. Stickers have been put around town as part of the state’s new Walk Safe campaign.
Here are a few examples: In 2008, a texting teen died after being hit by a car in Florida. A woman walked off an Indiana pier and fell into a river while texting. In 2009, a Staten Island, NY teen fell into an open manhole.
Since January, 23 pedestrian accidents have happened in Fort Lee. Most were minor but 3 fatalities were reported. Last year, 74 people were stuck and two people killed. Due to texting and walking, there were 1,000 emergency room visits in 2008.
Thomas Ripoli says this ticket fee has nothing to do with collecting more money for the city. He just wants more people to be safe and be aware of their surroundings. Also recently, Utah Transit Authority made distracted walking around trains punishable by a $50 fine.