May 14, 2012
Call it a proverbial foot in the door.
In April, the federal czar of planes, trains and automobiles, Ray LaHood, called for making texting while driving illegal.
Now a New Jersey city has passed a law to make it illegal to text while walking.
“Fort Lee, N.J. police said they will begin issuing $85 jaywalking tickets to pedestrians who are caught texting while walking.” reports ABC News.
Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department, said he “hopes his crackdown on people who display dangerous behavior while walking will make his town safer, but not everyone is on board with the idea of issuing $85 tickets.”
No doubt Fort Lee’s bureaucrats are “on board” with the revenue enhancement potential of the new law. It will now be Christmas all year long.
How long before talking on a cellphone while walking becomes “dangerous walking”?
People are distracted by all kinds of things – an argument with a spouse or relative, the loss of a job, federally imposed income taxes. How long before these are considered dangerous “distracted walking” and are used as an excuse to fill city coffers?
James Madison comes to mind:
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”