No laws needed to combat distracted walking

Two & Out
By James Peters
October 30, 2016 - 3:23pm Updated: October 30, 2016 - 5:28pm

KAMLOOPS — If you're about my age - and who isn't, really - then you remember The Friendly Giant on the CBC.

To kick off every episode, viewers were encouraged to 'Look up - look waaaaaay up' to find the titular character.

Well, if the majority of Canadians have their way, that command will soon come from local law enforcement instead of a kindly narrator.

According to a new survey from Insights West, two-thirds of Canadians support a ban on distracted walking.

In other words, if you are walking through an intersection and happen to check your phone, you could get handed a ticket.

There is a valid insurance component to the argument, and if a mouth-breathing texter walks into my car and breaks a nail, I don't want to be held accountable.

But if I run into someone in a crosswalk or intersection, chances are I'm already going to be exposed to liability, regardless if they had their head down playing Pokemon Go!

Measures developed to help people protect themselves are good, like seatbelts or airbags in vehicles.

Laws protecting people from themselves are usually silly.

The consequence of the action itself is far worse than the ticket and fine.

Jerry Seinfeld said this about laws mandating people wear helmets, for example:

"The point of [a helmet law] is to protect a brain that is functioning so poorly, it's not even trying to stop the cracking of the head that it's in."

The lion's share of people who would be predisposed to texting in an intersection will be teenagers, just the type of people who need to learn the relationship between actions and consequences.

Laws against texting and driving are great, because distracted driving has an impact on other people.

Texting and walking?

Leave that to Charles Darwin.

I'm James Peters.

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