Philly is ridding its streets of… cellphones? Everyone is freaking out over a new program condescendingly-titled “Give Respect, Get Respect.” Basically: you can get a citation for texting while walking. Or, as it stands at Penn, breathing. It’s cool that the program also targets “bad behavior by motorists and bicyclists,” but the texting thing can cost offenders fines up to $120!
We know, this all sounds like a joke, but the program is real, and the national government is picking up the tab! Starting in August, “more citations will be issued” as grants cover increased patrols for the remainder of the summer. Philly officials are also trying to extend their “increased enforcement” for 40 more weeks.
We still have a lot of questions. Will you be fined if you’re BBMing or emailing while walking? What if you’re texting without looking at your phone? What if you’re running? Hopefully, this “enforcement” will be as effective as other safety endeavors.