- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2017

Two Windy City aldermen have proposed new measures for keeping citizens safe: hefty fines for “distracted walking.”

Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (14th) and Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) aim to crack down on people who use crosswalks while using cellphone apps or texting. Their plan took shape after a Pedestrian Advisory Committee told Mayor Rahm Emanuel that 27 pedestrian deaths occurred within the first half of 2017.

“No person shall cross a street or highway while using a mobile electronic device in a manner that averts their visual attention to that device or that device’s activity,” text of the ordinance reads in part.

The “distracted walking” ordinance would impose fines ranging from $90 to $500 for violations, the station reported.

“The goal of the introduction of this measure is to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries, especially at crosswalks,” Mr. Burke told a local Fox News affiliate Wednesday night.

“Passage and enforcement of this new law would increase safety by eliminating distractions for pedestrians at intersections and elsewhere in the City of Chicago,” added Mr. Beale.

Chicago’s pedestrian deaths are part of a grim mosaic that includes nearly 600 homicides this year.

A database compiled by The Chicago Tribune highlights 593 homicides in 2017 as of Nov. 6.

“The Chicago Police Department’s count of homicides this year is 581 because, unlike the Tribune, it does not count homicides on expressways as well as fatal shootings by police officers and homicides considered justified,” the newspaper reported.

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