Part 3: Distracting Walking
Read the text and the statements below.Put a tick (✓) in the box next to the correct answer.Only one answer is correct in each case.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A young man talking on a cellphone wanders along the edge of a lonely train platform at night. Suddenly he stumbles, loses his balance
and falls over the side, landing head first on the tracks. Fortunately there were no
trains approaching the Philadelphia-area Station at that moment, because it took
the man several minutes to recover enough to climb out of danger. But the incident shows the risks of what government officials and safety experts say is a growing problem: distracted walking.
On city streets, in suburban parking lots and in shopping centers, there is usually
someone walking while talking on a phone, texting with his head down, listening
to music, or or playing a video game. The problem isn‘t as widely discussed as discussedas distracted driving, but the danger is real. State and local officials are struggling to figure out how to respond, and in some cases asking how far government should go in trying to protect people from themselves.
In Delaware, highway safety officials opted for a public education campaign,
placing signs on crosswalks and sidewalks at busy intersections urging pedestrains to "Look up. Drivers aren‘t always looking out for you."
As an April Fool‘s Day joke with a serious message, Philadelphia officials
taped off an "e-lane" for distracted pedestrians on a sidewalk outside downtown office buildings. Some didn‘t get that it was ajoke. "The sad part is we had people who,
once they realized we were going to take the e-lane away, got mad because they hought it was really helpful to not have people get in their way while they were walking and texting," an official said.
The Utah Transit Authority adopted a regulation forbidding pedestrians from
using cellphones, headphones or other distracting electronic devices while cross-
ing the tracks of its rail system on the streets of Salt Lake City. Offenders have to pay a $ 50 fine. "lt sounds very ridiculous," said Tia Little, a pedestrian in downtown Washington. "I mean, it‘s our phone. We should be able to use it and walk and talk if we choose to, walk and text or whatever."
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has received reports
from bus drivers and train engineers who say they nearly hit pedestrians who didn‘t appear to hear them sound their horns because they were distracted by their electronic devices, said Jim Fox, the agency‘s director of system safety and risk management.
The Internet is full of such stories: a woman texting while she walked through a
suburban Philadelphia shopping mall this year tumbled into a large fountain directly in front of her and got soaking wet. A security camera video of the incident went viral, generating millions of hits.
Researchers say they‘re not surprised that multi-tasking pedestrians run into trouble. Psychological studies show that most people can‘t focus on two things
at once. Instead, their attention shifts rapidly back and forth beteween tasks, and neither task is done well. But like a lot of drivers who use cellphones behind the wheel, pedestrians often think they‘re in control and that it‘s all the other fools on their phones who aren‘t watching what they‘re doing. "I see students as soon as they break from class , they have their cellphones out and they‘re texting to one
another. They‘re walking through the door and bumping into one another," said Jack Nasar, an Ohio State University professor and expert on enivronmental psychology. "People think they can do it, that they are somehow better." A study Nasar carried out on campus found that people talking on cellphones were significantly more likely to walk in front of cars thatn pedestrians not using
phones. In 2010, 1,500 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms for cellphone-related incidents.
A study by researchers at Stony Brook University in New York compared the performance of people who were asked to walk across a room to a target - a piece of paper taped to the floor - without distractions and then again next day
while talking on the cellphone or texting. The group that talked on the cellphone walkedslightly slower and went off course a bit more than before, but the texting group walked slower and went off course 61 percent more and overshot the target 12 percent more. "People really need to be aware that they are impacting their safety by texting or talking on the cellphone" while walking, Eric Lamberg, a
physical therapy professor, said "I think the risk is there."
Joan Lowry/ The Associated Press: Pedestrians distracted by electronic devices stumble into danger, raising safety concerns. In: Huffington Post, 07/30/2012. Used with permission of The Associated Press Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.
What happened to the man at the railway station?
|A||He took the wrong train.
|B||He did not have a valid ticket.
|C||He had an accident on the platform.
|D||He lost his wallet.
"Distracted walking" is walking …
|A||on railway tracks.
|B||while using electronic devices.
|C||while talking to another pedestrian.
To make people watch out for the traffic, the city council of Delaware …
|A||put up warnings on the side of the road.
|B||forbade the use of cellphones on busy streets.
|C||started an online safety campaign.
|D||installed more traffic lights.
The "e-lane" in Philadelphia …
|A||was not meant to be permanent.
|B||was welcomed by some people.
|C||caused more accidents.
In Salt Lake City people are not allowed to use electronic devices …
|A||in pedestrian areas.
|B||in public buildings.
|C||when walking across tram rails.
Which incident is mentioned in ll. 29-37?
|A||Someone bumped into a lamppost.
|B||Someone fell down the stairs.
|C||Someone fell into water.
|D||Someone tripped over a suitcase.
What is said about "multitasking"?
|A||Women are better at it than men.
|B||People believe they themselves can do it better than others.
|C||It trains people‘s ability to concentrate.
|D||It is a new course at Ohio State University.
What did the experiment at Stony Brook University show?
|A||While walking, texting is more dangerous than talking on the phone.
|B||Texting while walking causes more accidents than texting while driving.
|C||The more you practice texting while walking, the better you get.
|D||all of them (A+B+C).
What could be the best alternative title for this article?
|A||Devices down - heads up!
|B||Ban distracted walking!
|C||You drive, you text, you pay!
|D||Freedom for phone users!