Taking a road trip and want to send a text with your ETA? In New York, you’ll have to wait until you see signs for the next “texting zone.” Part of an initiative to crack down on distracted driving, New York has designated more than 90 rest stops and parking areas along state highways as safe places to stop and send text messages. Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled 300 signs with the message “It can wait” and the number of miles to the next texting zone. If caught texting while driving, motorists can face a fine of $150 and points on their license.
Philadelphia has taken what most savvy travelers would call a “safety” issue and turning it into a legal one … sort of. The city is issuing warnings to pedestrians who walk down the street and text or play on their smartphones.
The practice, while annoying to other pedestrians and motorists who may suffer from your lack of paying attention, isn’t illegal, but highly discouraged.
“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.
The only offense for which one can receive a ticket is jaywalking.
The city is using grant money to fund the cost of increased enforcement.
What do you think, friends of the City of Brotherly Love? Should texting and walking be a ticket-able or warn-able offense? Will you be more cognizant of your texting behavior when you next visit Philadelphia?
We wrote yesterday about Tim Baynes’ delightful travel sketches from around the world on BBC and liked them so much we came back for more. You can (and should!) get lost for hours looking at his drawings on Flickr with fun anecdotes and scribbles bringing depth and humor to his slice-of-life artwork.
Twitter addicts don’t need to worry about hopping a flight to Indonesia or Ireland any more. The white-hot microblogging service has expanded its footprint to these two countries, with local mobile carriers making Twitter available by SMS without charging any extra fees. Twitter was worried about overseas expansion for a while, because texting costs outside the United States were likely to prevent user adoption.
If you’re in Indonesia and are a customer of 3 Indonesia, the local carrier, Twitter becomes even more valuable. TwitPic is incorporated via MMS, making it possible to tweet pictures easily.And, the folks over at Twitter say more countries are coming, but there’s already a pretty impressive list on board already.