ST Forum writer suggests that pedestrians who use phones while crossing roads should be fined

By April 12, 2019Current, Local Life

TL;DR – Are you fine with that?

By now, you’ve probably seen the viral video of a woman being hit by a taxi as she was crossing the road while using her mobile phone.

However, for whatever reason, you haven’t, here’s the video:


In the 28-second video, the woman was seen using her mobile phone as she rushes across the road.

Unfortunately, before she could even cross over to the other side of the road, she was knocked down by an oncoming taxi.

The incident probably prompted Straits Times Forum writer Cheng Choon Fei, who then wrote a letter in to propose that pedestrians who use their phones while crossing roads should be fined.

In the letter, Cheng wrote:

“It is time to outlaw using mobile phones while crossing roads (Woman crossing road while on phone hit by taxi, April 8).

In February, it was announced that fines for pedestrian and cyclist offences will be raised. For example, the fine for jaywalking was increased to $50 from $20.

However, there was no mention of the penalties for pedestrians using their mobile phones while crossing the road.

One wonders why there is such a heavy penalty for drivers using mobile phones while driving when those who use their phones while cycling, on a personal mobility device (PMD) or walking across the roads are not penalised for doing so.

Cognitive distraction from mobile phone use can reduce situational awareness and increase unsafe behaviour for pedestrians, PMD users and cyclists, just as it does for drivers.

Being distracted, whether one is a pedestrian or behind the wheel, can lead to accidents. While drivers are supposed to look out for any obstructions on the road, it is impossible for them to always be able to stop in time or in a safe manner to prevent an accident.

The authorities must act for the sake of everyone’s safety and should consider ways to reduce such reckless behaviour through fines.

We cannot stop the march of technology, but we can and should halt the pedestrian, PMD user and cyclist zombies.

When on the move, our brains have much to take in, and using gadgets while doing so means that we can’t concentrate on other things simultaneously.

Cheng Choon Fei

The proposal – unsurprisingly – received divided opinions from netizens.

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Some in favour of the suggestion.

There are also those who don’t quite fancy the idea and believes that everyone is personally responsible for his or her own safety.

And then we have a dude here, who’s a victim of fake news…

I suppose he’s referring to the post that was circulating on social media last year, claiming that a policeman was issuing summons to people for using their mobile phones while crossing the road.

By the way, if you don’t already know, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has clarified that the claims in the post is not true.

So, what’s your take on this?

Should we be responsible for our own safety? Or do we really need the authorities to step in?


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Author JW

I am nice, most of the time!

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