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California city bans distracted walking, violators face fines up to $500

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Walking while talking on the phone or listening to music via earbuds or headphones can now earn pedestrians a $100 fine in Montclair.

The small bedroom community about 30 miles east of Los Angeles banned distracted walking while crossing an intersection, an ordinance that went into effect this year.

According to the ordinance, pedestrians cannot “cross a street or highway while engaged in a phone call, viewing a mobile electronic device or with both ears covered or obstructed by personal audio equipment” like over-the-ear headphones and earbuds.

There are, however, exceptions for 911 calls, medically-prescribed hearing aids and emergency first responders who are on duty.

City officials say pedestrians now account for 15 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities.

A first violation costs $100, and doubles if caught again within a year. If still within that same 12-month period, subsequent violations can cost as much as $500 each time.

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