As a slew of U.S. states have passed laws to ban texting while driving, one New Jersey town upped the ante with its texting-while-walking ban. Pedestrians in Fort Lee, New Jersey will have to stop to text, following the passage of a new law that imposes $85 fines on walkers caught texting. Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas Ripoli cited numbers of pedestrian crashes to support the ban: Last year there were 74 crashes involving pedestrians; three pedestrians were killed this year, according to the Record’s NorthJersey.com.

“It’s a big distraction. Pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and they are not aware,” Ripoli said during an announcement of the ban.

Following a brief warning period, New Jersey police began issuing fines to distracted walkers near the end of March, with more than 117 violations recorded to date…

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staff and wire services reports