Laws against texting or talking on a cell phone while driving are common. In Tyler, we have laws against using cell phones school zones. But one town is taking it one step further: banning texting while walking. And if you violate the law, you could be fined $85.

Fort Lee, N.J., residents are now required to stop to text, and if they don't, they'll be fined $85 by local law enforcement. Officials said the town experienced 74 crashes involving pedestrians the previous year, and three have died already this year.

Fort Lee officials enacted the rule in March and after a brief warning period, began issuing fines. More than 117 violations have been issued to date.

“It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” Thomas Ripoli, chief of the Fort Lee Police Department, said to the New Jersey Record.

ABC News reports the law backs up a study done by Stony Brook University in New York, which found that more than 60 percent of people who text and walk at the same time cannot walk in a straight line.

“We want to raise awareness that a real disruption occurs because of texting,” Eric Lamberg, co-author of the study, told Long Island Business News. “Texting disrupts your ability much more than does talking.”

One thing is for sure, banning walking and texting could prevent incidents such as texting into a bear or falling down steps on live television.

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