Texting While Walking Is Not Illegal In Philadelphia; Cops WILL NOT Start Issuing $120 Tickets

Text_Cop.jpg CBS PHILADELPHIA: The program, dubbed “Give Respect, Get Respect,” was launched at the beginning of May, aimed at reining in bad behavior by motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians in Center City (see previous story). Since then, some tickets, but mostly warnings have been handed out. But Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler says starting in August, more citations will be issued. Pedestrians who text while they walk without looking ahead will also be targeted. The citations include $120 fines. MORE

PHAWKER: Oh for fuck sakes! Of all the unsolved crime in this city, THIS is a priority? Really? Sixteen THOUSAND people have been shot in Philadelphia in the last 10 years and we are wasting scarce municipal resources to ticket people who text while walking?!? Why are you giving the people who have almost finished dismantling democratically-elected government in this country and replacing it with a corporate oligarchy one more talking point?

GAWKER: We could pretend that we’re incensed at this kind of micro-policing, sure. But, well: There is basically nothing more annoying than someone texting while walking on a busy street. You might ask Aren’t there better things that cops can be doing, like preventing murders? But the thing is, no, no, there is nothing I would like cops to be doing more right now than giving tickets to these people…MORE

PHAWKER: Sure, the completely self-absorbed jaded hipster ironic I-love-fascism! take on things is funny sometimes, but this isn’t one of those times. This ain’t just a blog post you throw at Nick Denton’s Big Board and pray it sticks (preferably up near the top, because it pays better) for us, pal, we’ve got to live here.

RELATED: Nanny state is a term used to describe, pejoratively, a perceived governmental state of protectionism, economic interventionism, or regulatory policies (of economic, social or other nature), typically also expressing an anxiety that these policies are being institutionalized as common practice. Opponents of such policies use the term in their advocacy against what they consider to be uninvited and damaging state intervention. MORE

UPDATE: Contrary to reports flooding the internet today, Philadelphia is not about to start fining pedestrians $120 for texting while walking. Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler today said that the city’s “Give Respect, Get Respect” campaign targeted at cyclists, motorists and pedestrians will include educational brochures for pedestrians, but no fines. “It is not a crime to text and walk. It is dangerous, but not a crime. The only violation that comes close is jaywalking and no one is giving out tickets for jaywalking,” said Cutler. MORE

PHAWKER: D’oh!

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