SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – If you ride Trax listen up. You can now get a ticket if you're caught on you cell phone at stations. UTA transit police are handing out warning cards informing people to pay attention because using your cell phone while around a train can cost you.
“They have to be in the rail corridor so either crossing the Trax or standing close enough to the Trax so their arm is sticking into the rail corridor or maybe their leaning in the rail corridor. They can get ticketed for that,” said Remi Barron UTA Spokesperson.
Barron says ordinance 5-1-M was passed specifically for UTA to keep people safe when around any trains. However, everyday Trax commuters have mixed opinions. “I think it's probably wise,” said Adam Pond who takes Trax on a regular basis.
“That's a tough one to cite people because if you look around here probably 30% of people have ear buds in,” said Nathan Risenmey, another Trax Commuter.
Commuter Juliann Ogilvie says it's a great idea, but she doesn’t think people will follow through with the rules. “They also made the law where you can’t be on your cell phone in your car but I see people on their cell phones all the time. So, I'm sure there is still going to be accidents, but I think it's a good step,” said Juliann Ogilvie
However, UTA says education is the first step. So, pay attention and put the distractions away, this includes cell phones, headphones and reading material.
“We have had accidents where people have lost an arm, Said Barron. He goes on to say “Distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving so when their near the rails we want them to be careful and that's the point of the flyers is to educate them,” said Barron.
Even though being on your cell phone is like second nature for some of us, learning a ticket could now be given has commuters like Ogilvee being more careful. “We don't like to be punished so if we know we are going to be cited we are less likely to do it now. So, I would be less likely to do it now, “said Ogilvee
UTA transit police say tickets can be as high as $50. For more information on the ordinance visit rideuta.com.