By: News Staff


Twitter: @ABC6

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WLNE) — Stepping off the curb with a phone in hand could soon cost you.

Massachusetts is the latest state considering making texting while crossing the street illegal.

Texting while driving is banned in Massachusetts and now texting while crossing the street could soon be against the law, too.

Attleboro residents spoke with ABC6 News and said it is about time.

“Just a lot of people are very unaware walking right out into traffic and I certainly don’t want to hit anyone and I’m sure no one else would either — we both need to take responsibility for it,” explained Michelle McKeown of Attleboro.

Lawmakers are looking into penalizing those caught jaywalking while typing and sending messages saying the distracting behavior is dangerous.

In fact, state-wide there has been an uptick in pedestrian and cycling fatalities that often take place outside of crosswalks.

“It’s not just the teenagers it’s grown adults doing the same thing. It’s 50 of one and 50 of the other to be honest with you,” said Jim Armfield, a long time crossing guard.

Armfield has seen it all. He supports the bill, which proposes a $50 fine for the first offense, $100 for the second, and $200 for a third jaywalking offense.

That includes the use of ear buds and other hand held devices.

“You shouldn’t be taking a step with your left foot or right foot without knowing what's in front of you,” said Armfield.

Other states have also made the push and over the summer, Honolulu, Hawaii became the first major city to outlaw texting-while-walking.

In Rhode Island, pedestrians say the idea of a hefty fine might make them more cautious.

“Yeah I mean I’ve definitely been caught doing it before so I guess maybe if there is a fine attached to it I’d be a little more careful and think twice before I did it,” said Ryan Creed of Attleboro.

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