Police can smack you with a $100 fine if you use your cellphone in a crosswalk in the California city.

If you happen to find yourself in the 5.5 square mile city of Montclair, Calif and are on a walkabout, it would behoove you to put away your cell phone at crosswalks and look where you’re going. It’s common sense but a rising trend in pedestrian accidents says otherwise. According to the L.A. Times (Feb. 25, 2018) on their report on the latest happenings in this small town’s City council meetings, they’ve instructed police on their latest ordinance that takes aim at increasing public safety by getting people off their phones at crucial moments, specifically at crosswalks.

The law makes it a ticketable offense to talk, text, or listen to music with two earbuds on a cellphone while you’re in a crosswalk. You’ll first be slapped with a warning, but second and subsequent offenders will be fined $100.

Montclair police noticed a disturbing trend in reports on pedestrian injuries, most involved pedestrians using cellphones. A particularly tragic case in 2012 saw a 15-year-old high school student suffer massive head injuries as a result of her being hit by an oncoming vehicle in a crosswalk while on her cell phone.

In response to this trend, City Manager Edward Starr took to Google and found numerous solutions to distracted walking, most notably from Honolulu, HI which has a distracted walking ordinance. First-time offenders get slapped with a fine right away.

Pedestrian safety is a two-way street which takes vigilant drivers and aware pedestrians into consideration. It goes without saying but with no safety shell around pedestrians, people walking will more likely suffer worse off injuries than drivers when both collide.

Some people might not like this new city ordinance, as illustrated by ripped stickers informing walkers of this new law at crosswalks and snarky remarks from offenders when the L.A. Times went to investigate the happenings on the street for themselves, but it’s for our own good.

Until people’s actions while on the move match up with common sense, these city ordinances will have to do. What’s $100 compared to what could happen if things turn for the worse?


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