We all know that using a cellphone while driving is a bad idea. It distracts the drivers and makes it much more likely for him or her to cause an accident. While this is a big deal, there is another time involving cars when it is not a good idea to be on the phone. That is when a person is crossing the street.
Crossing a street can be dangerous if not done at a proper time, or if either the pedestrian or driver are not fully paying attention. In the city of Montclair, around 15% of all vehicle related fatalities occur in pedestrian involved traffic collisions. The city looks to reduce that number with their new city-wide ordinance.
This new ordinance makes it illegal for a person to cross a road while distracted by their cellphone or any other electronic device. Specifically, the law states that a person cannot be engaged in a phone call, looking at a mobile electronic device, or have an earphone in both ears while crossing any roadway.
A first time offense will earn a person a $100 fine. A second offense within the same year will earn a person a $200 fine. Anymore offenses within that year will cost the person $500. As you can see, this can add up very quickly.
This new city ordinance actually went into effect back in January, but police were only issuing verbal warning up until now. Starting in August, they will begin fining any pedestrian they see breaking this law. This will all be done in an attempt to help reduce pedestrian involved traffic accidents and keep people safe.