Fines for Distracted Walking Under Consideration in PA

September 15, 2021

Fines for Distracted Walking Under Consideration in PA

While it has been illegal for years for drivers in Pennsylvania to use a cell phone while driving, a Pennsylvania state legislator has announced plans to introduce a bill that would make it illegal for pedestrians to be actively using their phones while crossing outside of a crosswalk.

State Legislator Plans to Introduce Bill Outlawing “Distracted Walking”

State Representative Karen Boback announced plans to introduce legislation that would impose fines on pedestrians who are using their phones or any other electronic communications device while walking out into the street, especially outside of a crosswalk or intersection where pedestrians are legally required to yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicular traffic. Rep. Boback states that distracted walking has become a serious problem due to the prevalence of smartphones and other handheld technology. Boback has yet to announce what the proposed fine would be for a pedestrian caught engaging in “distracted walking.”

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control report that about 6,000 pedestrians are killed nationwide in motor vehicle accidents each year, equating to an average of one death about every 90 minutes. Well over 100,000 pedestrians are treated in hospitals for non-fatal injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents every year. Pedestrians are about one-and-a-half times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident than an occupant of a passenger vehicle. Senior citizens account for about 20 percent of all pedestrian accident fatalities and about 10 percent of all injured victims of pedestrian accidents.

State Officials Have Undertaken Pedestrian Safety Efforts in Recent Years

In Pennsylvania, state officials have engaged in efforts to improve pedestrian safety, including both law enforcement efforts and public education efforts. Law enforcement agencies across the state have conducted enforcement stings for motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or intersections.

In addition, PennDOT has published a variety of materials to help educate pedestrians on how to be safer on the road. These include videos for children and their parents regarding safely walking to school, as well as pedestrian safety cards distributed at events organized by PennDOT.

What to Do If You Were Injured in a Pedestrian Accident

If you were injured by a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages or income, and pain and suffering. Steps you can take to protect your legal rights and options following a pedestrian accident include:

  • Documenting the accident scene by taking photos or video of the traffic controls at the scene, the lighting/weather/traffic conditions, and any visible injuries you may have suffered.
  • Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after the accident, even if you don’t have any visible injuries or pain. A doctor may be able to diagnose injuries you sustained in the accident by conducting a physical examination
  • Keeping records of your expenses and lost wages.
  • Avoiding discussing your accident or your case on social media
  • Making time to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to begin the process of pursuing your claim for compensation

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Pedestrian Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of pedestrian accidents in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Home visits can be arranged in certain situations. 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.