A New Jersey lawmaker introduced legislation this week that would make it illegal to text while crossing the street in the Garden State.
The bill, introduced Monday by Cherry Hill Rep. Pamela Lampitt, would make typing on a cellphone akin to jaywalking, with a minimum punishment of a $50 fine or a maximum punishment of 15 days in jail.
"It’s to heighten the awareness of what's going on around you," Lampitt, a Democrat, told the Mahawah Patch. "Even if you have permission to walk sign to walk, you should not be distracted, you should be aware of what's going on around you, especially in the street."
The bill points out that from the years 2000 to 2011 injuries caused by pedestrians crossing the street while using cellphones in New Jersey totaled 11,100. A vast majority – 80 percent – of those injured were less than 40 years old, the bill states.
It’s unclear when the assembly will vote on the bill.