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Distracted Walking A Growing Problem In Austin

Updated: Monday, June 9 2014, 03:35 PM CDT

Distracted driving is a problem as big as the state of Texas

"We're meeting regularly, we're getting public input," said Austin Assistant Police Chief Brian Manly.

Manly is part of the distracted driving study group tasked with reviewing the city's current ban on texting while driving.

"I don't think people realize distracting walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving," added Manly.

This is why at least one member of the Public Safety Commission wants them to take a closer look at the dangers of walking and talking.

"Your head shouldn't be down. Talking I think is a little bit better than looking down and texting. I see people on Facebook just walking into the street," said Donna Savage.

In a matter of minutes KEYE TV cameras captured several people crossing the street -- distracted by their cell phones.

"I see people doing it all the time and they don't pay attention and you usually run into them," said Patricia Lucas.

Or worse, into traffic. Manly admits it's a problem. But says taking action to prevent it could prove difficult.

"Whether there will be any suggestions that come forward on that it's too early to tell," said Manly.

The distracted driving study group is also looking into the dangers of using a cell phone while bicycling. 

The group will make its recommendations to Austin City Council by August 1, 2014.

By Alex Boyer

Distracted Walking A Growing Problem In Austin

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