A Walk on the Wild Side – ‘Text Walking’ Lanes in the UK

A Walk on the Wild Side – ‘Text Walking’ Lanes in the UK

The vast population of China means that sometimes, unique solutions are required to manage pedestrian traffic. The city of Chongqing, has recently introduced ‘cell phone lanes’ for pedestrians who are walking whilst texting or checking social media.


Fines for Text Walking

However, China is not the only place to implement measures to limit the dangers of text walking, the chief of police chief in Fort Lee, New Jersey, has instructed his officers to issue fines of $85 (£52) for those who send text messages whilst walking.

The practice of walking and texting is becoming increasingly popular which has correlated with a rise in pedestrian accidents in the UK.

Personal Injury Claims and Text Walking?

This raises some interesting legal questions for those who are injured by a ‘text-walker’. The rules and procedures for traffic accidents are very established: you phone the police and exchange contact and insurance information and the rest goes from there.

However what happens if a person walking whilst texting bumps into you causing you to drop and break an expensive item of property or worse, causes you significant injury?

It is speculated by Unlock the Law that you may be able to make a personal injury claim against such a person, under the law of ‘negligence’.

Negligence basically comprises a three-part test:

  • Whether the person owed you a duty of care
  • Whether that person breached their duty of care by acting carelessly or incompetently; and
  • Whether the breach caused you harm

Whilst it is difficult to envisage any harm past the minor inconvenience of being bumped into, it is possible that if you are injured by a text-walker you could be due compensation.

Please read our guide to Making a Personal Injury Claim in England & Wales here (for our Scottish readers, see our guide to Making a Personal Injury Claim in Scotland here) if you require more information about this area of law.

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