Senator Peralta’s Bill to Educate the Public Regarding Distracted Walking Passes Senate and Assembly

The New York State Senate and Assembly approved Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman’s bill to require the New York City Department of Transportation to study and report on its current and future public campaigns to educate pedestrians and drivers with regard to dangerous situations that can occur while using mobile devices.

The legislation includes campaigns to encourage motorists to be on alert for the possible presence of distracted pedestrians on the road. Governor Andrew Cuomo will now decide if the bill becomes law.

“While driving or walking on the streets, everyone should be aware of their surroundings and be always on alert. A simple distraction, regretfully, can be fatal. In just a second, a distracted motorist can cause a crash, but pedestrians should also put down their mobile devices when crossing streets, as a matter of precaution,” said Senator Peralta. “Texting while driving is against the law, and now we must ensure we educate pedestrians to be careful while walking and crossing streets. We have to make the streets safer for all New Yorkers, and encourage pedestrians to be on the lookout for drivers who all too often disobey traffic laws.”

Under the proposal, the City’s Department of Transportation will conduct a study and issue recommendations to prevent future motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrians who are distracted while texting, or using their mobile devices. In addition, the city agency will launch a campaign to educate drivers on the need to be on alert for potentially distracted pedestrians.   

According to Distraction.gov, more than 3,400 people were killed in vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. In response to an increase in traffic accidents caused by drivers distracted by texting or using mobile phones, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature acted by banning texting while driving in New York, and creating ‘Text Stops’ along state’s highways to facilitate a safe location for motorists to communicate using their mobile devices.