Put it down and look up


It is time for city government to step in and save us from ourselves.

The city council of Glendora and Azusa should consider enacting ordinances making it an infraction for pedestrians to be using cellphones while crossing the streets and walking through public parking lots. City police would be authorized to ticket violators and to issue a fine.

Citrus College has a student population of approximately 12,000 students. Azusa Pacific University has 10,221 students. Almost everyone in the two colleges has a cellphone, and many of them are addicted to them.

Distracted students saunter through the parking lots texting, calling, listening to music, and Snapchatting, oblivious to what is going on around them.

Not only are drivers not paying attention, pedestrians are not watching where they are going. Put these two distracted groups together and an accident is just waiting to happen.

For years, we students have been told to put down that cellphone, stop texting and start paying attention to what is going on around us, but that has not happened.

In fact, our attention deficit is getting worse, with attention span reduced to seven seconds made famous by Vine videos.

Disastrous walking can range from embarrassment to the hazardous of stepping into the street in the path of an oncoming car.

Some pedestrians are so focused on their cellphones that they crash into fences, fire hydrants, poles, and even parked cars.

The texters then curse these stationary objects as if they had magically appeared out of thin air. They walk away in embarrassment, looking around to see if anyone saw them while continuing to text.

A Clarion staff member was walking to class when a girl on her phone ran into her, apologized and then immediately after that, another girl (also on her phone) walked into her. It was a domino-effect caused by unaware pedestrians.

Another Clarion staffer was on the second level of the TC building on her phone and was going down the stairs when she almost fell down the stairs because she had missed a step, luckily she caught herself.

These are just a few of the occurrences that cause individuals to potentially get  injured. In extreme cases, these distracted pedestrians forget that they are walking.

An estimated 2 million injuries each year are the result of walking while texting, talking on, fiddling with a cellphone, according to a recent study. Injuries caused by cellphone distraction that led to the emergency room increased in the United States, from 559 in 2004 to 1, 500 in 2010 according to research published earlier this year by sciencedirect.com. Many students are so addicted that we need monetary incentive to do what we know is wise: putting away our phones while crossing the streets.

We call upon the city councils of Azusa and Glendora to impose a fine for crossing a street while distracted by cellphone use.

Help us help ourselves.

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