You may have heard the rumor, that texting while walking is illegal in Philadelphia and that if you are caught committing the “crime,” you will be fined.
Guess what? It’s not true!
"Pedestrians may be reminded to be more aware of their surroundings; however, there are no citations issued by the PPD for texting while walking," said Rina Cutler, Philadelphia Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Public Utilities, in a statement obtained by NBC Philadelphia.
Mayor Nutter’s administration also confirms in the statement that it is concerned about public safety – including the safety of pedestrians, motorists and bike.
Tthe statement adds that "if a Philadelphia police officer observes a driver, cyclist or pedestrian participating in any kind of potentially dangerous behavior, the officer will remind them to be careful."
Some local news outlets as well as blogs reported that a new law regarding texting and walking was part of the “Give Respect, Get Respect” campaign, an initiative to break the bad habits of bikers, motorists and pedestrians launched on May 16. There is no such law regarding walking and texting.
"This is a common sense public education campaign," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said. "It doesn't matter if you're walking, biking or driving. There are simply too many distractions that take our attention away from what is most important, staying safe and not causing harm to yourself or to others."
Don’t fret Philly, the only walking-related citation you can receive is for jaywalking.