Utah's Transportation Authority is tired of scraping pedestrians off the sides of its trains, deposited there on account of the person's "distracted walking." So, the UTA is taking the only logical step—imposing fines!
The UTA voted 11-3 today to ban "distracted walking" near train tracks. This includes activities such as talking on a cell, using headphones, texting, and reading. Offenders will be subject to a $50 fine for the first incident and $100 for repeats. They are civil fines, which means you won't face jail time if you don't pay but you could still be banned from riding buses.
In opposition of the measure, board member Troy Walker said, "I struggle with criminalizing everyday conduct. We're going to make it a crime to have your headphones in walking along crossing the tracks. Does it really make us safer?"
However, board member Robert Hunter countered with, "two of the most recent UTA accidents were people walking into our vehicles. They actually walked into them. That shows you how much attention has been paid." The board did eventually side with Hunter and so the fines will go into effect.
So the next time you come upon train tracks in Utah remember—shoulders back, head up, eyes and ears perked, and be glad you don't also have to wear a helmet when crossing. [Salt Lake Tribune - Image: Al Hartmann - Salt Lake Tribune]