B.C. Will Not Ticket Pedestrians For Distracted Walking

Legislation May Need to be Updated For Distracted Walking

Pokemon Go has taken on the world and in doing so, pedestrians and drivers have come out in droves, and that means that means there is more activity on the roads and streets. In British Columbia, the province has suggested that distracted pedestrians won’t be fined for being distracted while walking but that doesn’t mean that law enforcement won’t be on the look out for those playing in traffic.

Pedestrians and motorists continue to engage with their phones while walking and driving respectively. The Pokemon Go craze has only amplified the engagement as players are glued to their phones. Law enforcement in British Columbia is advising motorists to put down their phones and pedestrians to keep their heads up and be aware of their surroundings.

Will Legislation Deter Distracted Walking?

In Toronto, City Council voted last week to amend the Highway Traffic Act to ban “actively using a hand-held wireless communication device or hand-held electronic entertainment device while on any travelled portion of a roadway.” Unfortunately, the Ontario government did not support the action but did recommend a change to the bylaw.  Motorists and pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, need to be aware of each other. They both need to make eye contact with each other when interacting on the roads.

The B.C. Government is looking towards a solution when it comes to pedestrians who are distracted by their phones. The province is looking at education which will remind pedestrians that they share the road with others, including a variety of vehicles. According to available statistics, crashes involving pedestrians have increased over the years. In the period of 2009 to 2013, there was an average of twenty-three hundred incidents involving pedestrians and crashes. Pokemon Go has instigated a debate as to whether education or legislation will help to reduce the climbing statistics. Some parts of British Columbia suggest that distracted walking should be handled the same way as distracted driving, inclusive of fines. Some areas of British Columbia consider education as an effective means to education pedestrians on the perils of distracted walking.

Regardless of the potential ways to curb this growing phenomenon of distracted walking, pedestrians are reminded that they are not the only ones on the road. Young Drivers of Canada would like to remind drivers that using a hand-held electronic device while driving will result in substantial fines and demerit points. Pedestrians who continue to walk distracted are subject to injuries and maybe even death. Is your cell phone or playing Pokemon Go worth it? Young Drivers doesn’t think it is!