Montclair Bans Crossing Street While Using Phone; Offenders Could Face Fines

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Chances are, you’ve had this experience: You’re behind the wheel at a stop sign or traffic light and have the right of way, when a pedestrian, looking down at a cellphone, steps off the curb in front of your car.

A pedestrian holding a phone waits to cross the street in Montclair in this undated photo. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
A pedestrian holding a phone waits to cross the street in Montclair in this undated photo. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Now, one Southern California city is trying to tackle so-called distracted walking, making it a ticket-worthy offense to cross the street while on the phone. In Montclair, a 5.5-square-mile town just east of Pomona, pedestrians can’t text, talk on the phone, or listen to music or podcasts with two earbuds in while in a crosswalk. 911 calls are an exception.

“The youth admit that they are distracted by their cellphones,” City Manager Edward Starr said. “This has turned out to be a reminder for them that their lives are on the line.”

Starr said he was pondering a way last fall to address distracted walking in the city, so he turned to Google. He came across some creative — and probably not entirely serious — ways cities around the globe have tackled the problem.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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