Stamford resident Nicole Neurohr told a CBS affiliate,"There been many times where I looked down on my phone and then notice that there’s a car coming right at me, and I feel like a moron whenever that happens."
The proposal, called the Pedestrian Safety Ordinance, is based on similar legislation passed in Honolulu in late July leveling $30 fines on people caught violating the law.
If passed, the ordinance would prohibit people from talking, sending text messages or even using headphones on a mobile device while crossing the street.
Stamford City representative John Zelinsky said, "They’re oblivious to cars … I don’t want any more injuries or deaths as a result of pedestrians getting hit. We’ve had about four or five within the past three or four years."
He said there would be an exception for 911 calls.
The National Governors’ Highway Safety Association reports an 11 percent increase in the number of pedestrian deaths nationwide. Not everyone feels targeted legislation is necessary to solve the issue, however.
One Brian D. wrote on Facebook, "Thank goodness we live in a nanny state where the government wants to intervene in and control every aspect of our lives."
Troy Latham of Stamford called the the law and the idea of a fine "ridiculous," offering, "If it’s an important text message or call they’re getting, like what if it’s too late, what if their mother’s in the hospital and they need someone to call real quick?"
Zelinsky noted that the aim of the measure isn’t to level fines but to raise awareness, saying, "This is not actually to raise money for the city, but to hopefully educate the public."