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Pedestrians May Soon Face Fines For Distracted Walking In PA


In general, people in today’s world are more concerned with their phones than with traffic. However, someone texting or playing a game while crossing the street or walking along the side of the road can lead to a catastrophic accident. Currently, there is no law that penalizes pedestrians who walk distracted in Pennsylvania. However, a pending bill could soon change that.

Pedestrians In Pennsylvania Who Walk Distracted May Face Consequences

According to Pennsylvania lawmakers, pedestrians who fail to pay attention while crossing a roadway may begin to face fines. Rep. Karen Boback plans to introduce legislation that would impose fines on pedestrians who abruptly abandon a curb and walk or run into a car while using their phones or other interactive communications devices. In addition, pedestrians who use their phones while crossing the street outside of a crosswalk and fail to yield the right-of-way to all cars may also face fines.

Is Texting While Walking Dangerous?

According to a report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2019, texting while walking has become more prevalent in recent years, contributing to an increased number of pedestrian deaths. Walking near a roadway is inherently dangerous. However, adding a phone to the mix only makes matters worse. By walking distracted, you not only risk tripping and falling but also walking into street signs, doors, and walls or, even worse, being hit by a car. According to specialists, these incidents most commonly result in cuts, bruises, sprains, and even fractures.

How To Stay Safe While Walking

As previously stated, texting while walking accounts for a large percentage of pedestrian accidents. However, there are a few things you can take to reduce the odds of an accident caused by distracted walking:

  • Put your phone away while crossing the street
  • Keep your head up when crossing intersections
  • If you are listening to music, either use only one headphone or keep the volume low enough to hear your surroundings.
  • Follow the rules of the road and follow street signals
  • Try not to use your handheld devices in parking lots

While no regulations impacting distracted walkers have been established yet in Pennsylvania, one thing is sure: concentration is critical for safety while commuting by vehicle, bike, or foot.

Contact Freeburn Law Today

If you or a loved one was involved in a pedestrian accident, our attorneys may be able to assist you in recovering compensation. Contact us today by calling 717-777-7777 or filling out the contact form on this page. Freeburn Law is proud to serve clients all over Pennsylvania. We have offices located throughout PA to best serve our clients.

I would like to thank Megan Harmon at Freeburn Law for doing a top notch job handling my case. My wife and I were very upset after an accident that caused harm to me due to a negligent driver running a stop sign and demolishing my wife’s vehicle. I lost use of my hand and missed some work due to my injuries. Megan handled my case with diligence, kept me informed and was always there when I had questions. The process was long but it was handled correctly and the outcome was worth it for us. Thanks again Megan and Freeburn Law!