Walking While Texting Not Criminal in Pennsylvania, Just Rude

If you are reading this blog post right now, it is very possible that you are reading it on your cell phone. Many of us all use smart phones and pay the big bucks for them because they allow us to access emails and information wherever we go.

Walking and reading or texting isn’t always that smart, but do Pennsylvania authorities really want to limit the convenience of cell phones by telling residents that they can’t text and walk? Reports came out last week that “distracted walkers” would be subjected to fines in an effort to prevent incidents of personal injury in the state.

A more recent Philadelphia report, however, sets this texting and walking story straight. Those who were outraged that they could be fined for distracted walking last week can sigh a sigh of relief: law enforcement cannot ticket a person caught texting while walking. They are simply allowed and likely to warn walkers of the risk associated with walking the streets and other public areas while distracted.

At this point, we have all probably heard of the risks associated with distracted driving and even bicycling. Yes, distracted bicyclists can be fined in the state for texting and riding. Driving while distracted, whether in a car or on a bike, is dangerous and puts lives at risk every day. Walking while distracted can cause someone to walk in front of oncoming traffic or result in injuries other ways.

Though dangerous, officials cannot fine people in the state for walking and texting. It’s that simple. Disregard the false reports about the law that you might have heard through various media outlets last week. Those reports spurred varying differing opinions on the matter. Some actually believed that fining distracted walkers would be a good idea to prevent accidents. Others saw the idea as giving the state too much power and just another way for it to make money.

What do you think about this issue? Do you see walking while texting as a threat to people’s safety? Should there be a law regarding that behavior?


  • Philadelphia Inquirer: “Texting while walking not a crime in Phila. Honest,” Troy Graham, 20 Jul. 2011