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Taipei To Fine People Glued To Smartphones While Crossing The Street

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Looking to make crossing the street a little safer, Taiwanese legislators have proposed fining pedestrians who cross the street while "distracted" by mobile phones. The proposed law will fine any pedestrian deemed "distracted" about $10 for each infraction!

According to Taiwanese media, there are over 14,000,000 mobile internet users in Taiwan, many of whom are supposedly "addicted" to their smartphones. This smartphone addiction has supposedly led to various traffic accidents on the island, so much so that 17 legislators have put forth a new law to fine distracted walkers.


Taiwan's Apple Daily gave an example of a young woman in Kaoshuing, Taiwan. In late March, this young woman was crossing the street and, while she was distracted by her phone, she was hit by an oncoming taxi cab. She later passed away in the hospital.

These Taiwanese legislators hope to emulate a failed a New Jersey traffic bill. The Jersey bill aimed to fine and educate distracted pedestrians. Multiple states across the US have tried to no avail to pass laws to curb distracted walkers. A Brooklyn assemblyman at one point even tried to ban headphones when people cross the street.


While they're looking to fine and punish "mobile addicts", Taipei's proposed regulations lack bite, with each fine costing only about $10.

So what exactly is a distracted pedestrian? Taipei legislators say anyone who has their head down looking at a screen is considered distracted. That includes texting, gaming, and websurfing. However, people are concerned that it may also include talking on the phones.

On Facebook, comments ranged from ridicule to borderline support.

Pops Berry -
What about the people who walk across the street reading books, do you fine them?
What about the people looking down watching their kids cross the streets, do you fine them?
What of the people who look at their own feet and not the full street, do you fine them?

Yan Miaomiao -
I think there should be a fine.
When we were little, teachers told us to be careful when crossing. No point in not being careful when we're adults.
Looking at your smartphone while walking is very dangerous.

Li Kailin -
This must be from legislators who've had too much to eat and nothing to do. How about coming up with a new legislation that reduces legislators' pay by half?


In reality, a little bit of common sense is what's really needed, but the interesting thing is that Apple Daily's own survey says that over 80% of the people surveyed consider the fine necessary. You know, seeing those figures, I'm on the fence now.

過街滑手機罰300 [Apple Daily]

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Eric is a Beijing based writer and all around FAT man. You can contact him or follow him on Twitter @FatAsianTechie