Reports regarding this story have varied over the past few days. This writer would like to clear up those concerns for you.
Despite major news sources claiming otherwise, the Mayor of Philadelphia claims that people texting and walking at the same time will not receive a ticket or a fine in Philadelphia.
It is NOT illegal to text and walk in Philly. You will NOT be fined. You will NOT be ticketed.
When asked if the reports were true the Mayor claimed they were “misleading”
In otherwords, the wording of the law is there, but media attention has now been drawn to this program designed to legislate common sense. You, as the walker/texter, however, may receive a “warning”.
The Gawker seems to think that this is a fine thing, that the men and women who are supposed to be “peace officers” have nothing better to do than maintain civility by ensuring people aren’t doing two things at once.
But the thing is, no, no, there is nothing I would like cops to be doing more right now than giving tickets to these people, unless it is actually arresting them and putting them in jail, or possibly just executing them on the spot Judge Dredd-style. Bring this program to New York and include people who just stop and stand still, right at the head of the stairs, after exiting the subway and I will vote for Mayor Bloomberg a thousand times over.
So, what would you do if someone gave you a “warning” for walking and texting at the same time? Although a warning does not include points on a license or a monetary fine, what happens if you choose to ignore the person attempting to give you the warning? May you be detained? What happens if you refuse to stop or acknowledge that someone is attempting to issue a “warning” to you because you “text while they walk without looking ahead.”
Could you be arrested? Should we next give licenses to walk?