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It’s an epidemic that might turn into a catastrophe if not stopped now. Plenty of Canadians are doing it — some without even realizing that they’re putting their lives at risk.

We’re talking about TaW: Texting and Walking, people. Or, as it’s now called, “wexting.” Yes, it’s a cringe-worthy word, but it’s become a part of your everyday life — we know, we’re guilty of it too. And while China’s solution to helping cell phone addicts is to “award” them with their very own traffic lane (use at your own risk), people guilty of TaW in one Canadian city are getting stopped right in their tracks.

If you’re crossing select intersections in Vancover and Victoria with your eyes glued to your cellular device, you’ll receive a banner ad on your phone that says, “If you’re texting while walking, have a word with yourself.” It’s embarrassing, but it seems like it’d be pretty effective.

So, whose brilliant idea was this? A group called Community Against Preventable Injuries (CAPI). They’re testing “geofencing” technology in an attempt to reduce the number of injuries suffered by people who are “wexting,” according to CTV News.

The organization says that in B.C. alone, more than 2,700 pedestrians are injured each year. Forty per cent are due to distractions or ignoring traffic signals. Oy!

The moral of this story? That text can wait until you’ve crossed the street safely.

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