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Officials Keep Trying, and Failing, to Outlaw Distracted Walking

A proposed bill in Hawaii is the latest in a doomed line of legislative attempts to deal with pedestrians on their cell phones.
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You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d say that texting and walking mix well.

New York’s (sadly fictitious) Department of Pedestrian Etiquette listed “walking with your face in a map or mobile device,” among its violations. Beyond the annoyance factor, it’s a health risk: 2010 data show that at least 1,500 people a year wound up in the emergency room after taking to the streets on their phones. The Pew Research Center has found that 53 percent of adult cell phone users have bumped into something as a result of distracted walking. And if you still don’t see the hazard, consider the La Crescenta, California, man who nearly texted himself straight into a bear.