The News Today
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10.20.20
Eyes Up

A Japanese City Just Banned Using Phones While Walking

__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Pixabay/Futurism

No Multitasking

Yamato, a city in Japan, just passed an unusual new law: Pedestrians are no longer allowed to use their smartphones while walking around.

The city, a suburb of Tokyo, is treating smartphone use as a public health hazard, Agence France-Presse reports. And while it sounds like a bizarre thing to turn into a legal rule, the ban is reportedly popular among Yamato’s 240,000 residents.

Gentle Reminder

Now, as passengers arrive at Yamato’s train station, a recorded voice broadcasts a warning about using smartphones while walking down sidewalks or in parks.

“Using smartphones while walking is banned. Please operate your smartphones after you stop walking,” the recording says.

But for now, that’s the extent of it: AFP reports that there’s no punishment linked to the crime of tweeting while walking, other than perhaps the ire of those around you.

Mild Discourse

Yamato residents who spoke to AFP tended to agree that walking around glued to a smartphone was dangerous, but not everyone was sure that there actually needed to be legislation to address the hazard.

“I don’t think we need an ordinance to ban it,” 17-year-old Arika Ina told AFP. “You can stop it by being a little bit more careful.”

READ MORE: Walkie, no talkie: Japan city launches pedestrian smartphone ban [Agence France-Presse]

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