Police in the New Jersey Town of Fort Lee spent today trying to explain how they didn't ban texting while walking.
Numerous media reports, including from respected outlets like CBS and ABC, sprouted on the Internet with the alarming news that Police Chief Thomas Ripoli had gone to war on text-walking.
The news, suggesting a draconian solution to the annoying problem of people bumbling along while glued to smart phones, caught the local and international media's imagination. Tickets would cost a hefty $85, newjerseynewsroom.com, reported.
But Melissa Cuello, at the Fort Lee Police Department, told AFP the reports were "incorrect."
In fact, Ripoli was only declaring tough enforcement of jaywalking, or crossing streets against the lights.
"We ticket for jaywalking and the chief was just trying to say 'be careful while texting and walking.'"
Police later put out a statement saying, "despite some information circulating around the Internet or some media sources, the Fort Lee Police department is not issuing tickets to people walking while using electronic devices such as phones, texting or music players.
"Walking and using such devices is not against the law. Failing to use a crosswalk or walking against the signal is against the law."