Many of us often look at our smartphones while walking to help find our way - or even to pass the time.
But doing so could soon be illegal in the city of Yamato, in Kanagawa Prefecture, central Japan.
City councillors are set to vote on a proposal to ban the activity after research reportedly showed that too many people were looking at their phones while walking.
What a terrible idea. Just simply horrible.
It always feels like Japan has some crazy stuff going on. Usually, it seems like they're a step ahead of us, coming up with the latest sex robot or some other objectively cool piece of technology. Whatever it may be on that given day. This law, however, is rather obscene. Quite the swing and a miss if you ask me.
There cannot be a quicker way to get people off the streets than by implementing this law. You're telling me it's a crime to peruse your phone as you aimlessly wander the streets of a city? Then lock me the fuck away because I'm 1000% gonna look at my phone while I'm just walking. As someone who walked from Grand Central to Barstool HQ - approx. 20 minute walk/1.2 miles. not to brag or anything - almost everyday pre-coronavirus, this law is pretty fucking absurd.
According to Sora News 24, researchers observed 6,000 people walk past two train stations in Yamato and found that 12 per cent of them were looking at their phones.
It has prompted some politicians in the city to propose banning the activity.
They allegedly claim there has been an increase in injuries among people walking while distracted by their phones.
That being said, I get their reason as to why they're looking into implementing this law. The injuries sustained by accidentally walking into someone that was on their phone were very serious. Lord knows how hard it is to come back from those career-defining sidewalk injuries. I know someone who lost their breath completely just because some asshole was looking at their phone whilst walking on the sidewalk. Wind, completely knocked out of him. Some say he nearly died* from the incident and that it was nearly impossible for him to get back to his normal life.
*he was perfectly fucking fine because he's a normal adult who can handle accidentally bumping into someone
Seriously though, what is banning telephone use on the sidewalk going to do other than make people unnecessarily mad online? Nothing! The fact of the matter is that one of these old fucks on the Yamoto city council probably got embarrassed because he was scrolling through his texts when *BAM* he ran into someone. Very a la the opening scene from Pineapple express, he probably called for walking with your phone to be banned right then and there.
All this really does is make me wonder how many times would I get arrested? It would really depend on how long it was an active law. I can comfortably say that every time I left my house, I'd be risking a run-in with law officials over the use of my cellular phone. It's really just a matter of how long the law would be a thing before society caused a scene. I'd be racking up arrests like I was fucking James Kilkelly (s/o to anyone who gets that reference). So my conservative guess is ∞. Or as many times before they just lock my ass up for good. Whichever one comes first.
At the end of the day, we just have to count the lucky stars that we can still walk with cell phones on the streets.
PS - We're all adults here. I can admit I hate bumping into people as much as the next guy but imagine if they tried pulling this type of shit in the US? A proposal like this would get shut down in literally a nanosecond.