After a 30-year decline in pedestrian deaths on America's roadways, there was a tiny increase of 0.4 percent in the first half of 2010. Deciding that cell phones and iPods are to blame, New York state Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) has introduced a bill making it a crime to use them or other electronic devices while crossing the street.
"When people are doing things that are detrimental to their own well-being," Kruger told The New York Times in January, "then government should step in." Other legislators agree. Arkansas state Sen. Jimmy Jeffress (D-Crossett) has proposed a law that would prohibit pedestrians and joggers from using headphones. Lawmakers in Oregon, Virginia, and California have introduced laws banning "distracted bicycling."
Meanwhile, a 2010 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that laws banning text messaging while driving have made roads more dangerous. The institute surmises that drivers don't stop texting because of the laws, but they do move their cell phones away from the windows, which takes their eyes further from the road.