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May 13, 2012

US town fines pedestrians caught texting

     London: People in a US town are being fined by police if they are caught texting on their mobile phones while walking. The clampdown comes after a rise in the number of jaywalking incidents, where pedestrians cross roads illegally or recklessly, instead of using marked routes, Sky News reported. Officers in Fort Lee, New Jersey, have said some people are constantly putting themselves at risk of being hit by vehicles because they do not pay attention. Police are stepping up patrols looking for “dangerous” walkers who are not obeying the rules of the road. They have been handing out leaflets warning pedestrians about the crackdown. So far this year, more than 20 people have been hit by cars in Fort Lee . “It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they’re going. They’re not aware,” Fort Lee Police chief Thomas Ripoli said at a news conference. One resident Sue Choe admitted she texts and walks “all the time,” but added: “When I walk, I still look around. I’m not constantly looking down.” In the last month-and-a-half, at least 117 tickets have been issued for jaywalking - an offence which carries a fine of 85 dollars.
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