Japan’s legislation bans walking and playing with mobile phones: Mobile phones should stand still in public places

On June 27, local time, Japan’s Kanagawa Dahe City Council passed an autonomy rule banning “using mobile phones while walking”, becoming the first in Japan, according to media reports. The regulations, which will come into effect from July 1, are required to stand on the right to use a smartphone in public places such as roads or parks in The city, without prejudice to others. The government said it hoped people would be aware that “smartphones should be used in non-mobile situations”.

However, the provision also does not provide for clear penalties and offenders are not punished. About 12 per cent of the city’s roughly 6,000 people were surveyed by the city government in January 2020, with about 12 per cent admitting to using mobile phones while walking.

Previous studies have shown that traffic fatalities in the United States have soared by 14.4% in recent years. In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died in traffic accidents every day.

Japan's legislation bans walking and playing with mobile phones: Mobile phones should stand still in public places

The main reason for the increase in mortality may be the advent of smartphones, the researchers note. From 2014 to 2016, the share of smartphones rose from 75 percent to 81 percent, which also led to changes in the way they use their phones while driving and more frequent driving.

In addition, the increase in deaths is mainly due to cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians paying more attention to mobile phones. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians died in traffic accidents, an increase of nearly 1,100 from 2014 and a 22 percent increase in just two years.