In the era of smartphones, everyone’s distracted—at the dinner table, while driving, and yes, while walking. That’s one of the biggest problems: When pedestrians pay no attention to the road, they put in danger not just themselves, but other drivers as well.
The City Council of Baguio is working toward addressing that particular problem. It has approved on its third and final reading the Anti-Distracted Walking Ordinance, which prohibits pedestrians from using any distractive mobile device while passing sidewalks and crossing the street.
You can check out the local government unit’s official Facebook post below:
The proponent of the ordinance was Scout Official For-A-Day councilor Eriko Coscolluela. It was then adopted by councilors Faustino Olowan, Peter Fianza, and Levy Lloyd Orcales.
Coscolluela emphasizes that pedestrians using mobile devices while walking not only lose awareness and get into accidents, but also tend to slow down and affect the pace of other pedestrians around them.
Violators will not be penalized for the first offense. As for the succeeding offenses, the fees will be as follows: P1,000 for the second offense, P2,000 for the third offense, and P2,500 with community service or imprisonment of 11-30 days for the fourth and succeeding offenses. Ouch.
The ordinance will also prohibit pedestrians from skimming any reading material while on the road. Barangay tanods and enforcers, the Public Order and Safety Division of the Mayor’s office, the Baguio City Police Office, and the Baguio Traffic Management Unit are all authorized to apprehend any potential violators.
Is this a good idea? Tell us what you think.