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Texting while walking? In N.J. town, it'll cost you

One Northern New Jersey town is taking a tough stand on careless pedestrian behavior. And as some of us know, texting and walking can fall into that category.


Texting while walking could land you a ticket in Fort Lee, N.J.

As with most other states, texting while driving is already banned in the state. But now, Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas Ripoli is also holding pedestrians accountable for their "dangerous walking," including texting-while-trekking -- if it leads to them ignoring crosswalks and lights.

There have been 23 pedestrian accidents since January, Ripoli told CBS New York. While most were minor, three fatalities were reported.

"They're not alert and they're not watching what they're doing," Ripoli told CBS New York's Derricke Dennis. "As of now, [officers are] to give summonses to pedestrians who do not adhere to crosswalks and the lights."

Ripoli, however, told MSNBC that his town is not specifically banning texting while walking.

Folks who are texting while walking in Fort Lee are issued a jaywalking ticket, but only if they also happen to be jaywalking at the same time, the article says.

Some outrageous viral videos of people distracted while texting have captured the public's attention. Recently, a Los Angeles man almost ran into a bear while texting. Another video shows a woman in a mall who fell into a water fountain because she was distracted from texting.

The woman who fell in the fountain regretted her carelessness in retrospect, emphasizing the dangers of texting while walking.

The texting ban went into effect in the northern New Jersey town in March.

Watch: Woman discusses mall fountain accident

Clarification, 4:15 p.m. PT: to indicate that tickets will be handed out for "dangerous walking," which could include texting and walking but does not necessarily have to.

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